‘PROOF’ is a soliloquy, which extends and develops the themes explored in the solo exhibition ‘History [TBC]: Refocusing the South African War’ (see Council Chamber). As with the other works on exhibition, the soliloquy focuses a contemporary lens on the South African War (or Anglo-Boer War) of 1899-1902, situating it within present-day decolonising South Africa and a legacy of history-writing marred by erasure and exclusion.
Cast: The Author-self.
Artefact: Serendipitous encounters in the Archives (a personal narrative of belonging).
Performance notes: Macro-lens photographs of the word ‘mortality’ (which were taken with the aid of an unwitting accomplice) wipe across the projection screen, as the Author-Self reflects on the precariousness of being ‘at home’ in a context marred by unresolved trauma. The soliloquy was written in October 2016, while the Fees Must Fall protests were happening at Rhodes University (where the Author-Self lectures). Police were firing stun grenades at the protestors, over the stone wall adjacent to her office. Her research into an ‘old’ war (and its imperialist underpinnings) acquired a whole new meaning; and she wrote from the perspective of the precarious present.