Cedric Nunn

One Hundred Year War of Resistance by Xhosa Against Boer and British

Unsettled, South African photographer Cedric Nunn (best known for his photographs of apartheid resistance) turns his lens to the landscape of the Eastern Cape, site of the longest and most complex anti-colonial confrontation in South Africaís history: The 100 Year War of Resistance. Spanning a century and encompassing nine discrete Frontier Wars, the resistance of the Xhosa, against the colonizing forces of, first the Boers and then the British, was an incredible feat that has been all but erased from the history books. Nunnís photo essay attempts to reclaim that lost history by engaging with the landscape of that resistance: as the Xhosa traditional homeland, as the site of surprising victories and devastating defeats, as the site of horrific massacres and mass population displacements, and as the modern-day Eastern Cape facing its own challenges. Nunn captures colonial scars in the form of ruins, environmental damage, displaced people, and acts of erasure. But the project itself is a reclamation of Xhosa history and the Xhosa perspective of the Frontier Wars, and as such Nunn also uncovers acts of memory and excavates recollections long buried. Additional historical, contextual, and critical commentary is provided by Zakes Mda, Jeff Peires, and M. Neelika Jayawardane. Cedric Nunnís Unsettled is an important document and serves as a first step in recognizing the importance of the Xhosa resistance to the history of the Eastern Cape and South Africa.

This publication accompanies an exhibition currently on show at David Krut Projects, New York.

  • 2015
    Photography: Cedric Nunn
    Writing: Zakes Mda, Jeff Peires, M. Neelika Jayawardane and Cedric Nunn
    Design and Production: Peter Holm
    164 pages
    9.5 x 10.5 in.
    ISBN: 978-0-914671-44-2
    Pirogue Collective / Island Position (Archipelago Books)
    Price: $36