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Tuesday, May 12, 2015


(One of the works on show)

The KZNSA is to host Unsettled: One Hundred Years War of Resistance by Xhosa Against Boer and British – an exhibition by acclaimed South African photographer Cedric Nunn.

Nunn, who is best known for his photographs taken during apartheid, aims to instigate social change and highlight lesser-seen aspects of society with his photography. His upcoming exhibition at KZNSA deals with the nine wars that Xhosa people were subjected to between 1779 and 1879 in their fight against Afrikaner and British colonial settler forces. Nunn became aware of a notable gap in the telling of this South African history, as well as the fact that little has been done to date to memorialise these acts of colonial aggression and Xhosa resistance, and decided to document the land where these struggles took place.

“This essay looks at the land, which was occupied, desired, defended, lost and won,” he explains. “In it we see both the uses and states it is to be found in today, both by the victors and the vanquished. We are able to imagine the heroism and the misery it inflicted on its actors as they either defended or attacked. We see, too, how little of this memory is commemorated or honoured. We see the smug conquerors, and the conquered. We see the continuing collaborations, which have always been necessary to maintain the status quo. We see the beauty, which stirred the souls of the inhabitants and the lust of the invaders.

“Through revisiting this painful past in the contemporary scenes of today,” Nunn continues, “this work attempts to place the present in its factual context of dispossession and conquest.”

Curated by Peter McKenzie and Cedric Nunn for the KZNSA’s Social Art 2014/15 Programme and made possible through the support of a Mellon Foundation Scholarship and Galerie Seippel, this exhibition launched in Grahamstown last year. It has since also shown at the University of Stellenbosch Galleries, at Unisa Art Gallery in Pretoria, and the Wits Art Museum, Johannesburg. After its run at the KZNSA, the exhibition will travel to Germany and the USA later this year. Two books are soon to be published to accompany the exhibition, by Archipelago Press, New York, and Wunderhorn, Heidelberg, Germany.

There will be a walkabout of the exhibition on May 23 at 11h00.

Unsettled: One Hundred Years War of Resistance by Xhosa Against Boer and British runs from May 13 to 30 in the Main and Mezzanine Galleries of the KZNSA which is situated at 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood, in Durban. More information on 031 277 1703, fax 031 201 8051 or cell 082 220 0368 or visit

A project of the KZNSA’s Social Art 2014/15 Programme, supported by the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund.