Peter Clarke (1919 - )

mixed media
50 x 35cm

That I existed is a fact. But the importance of my role
in South African history is usually only alluded to. As inter-
preter, the bearer of meanings, I moved with seeming lightness
between the two language groups, the Dutch arrivals
& the indigenous people. In the process of giving meaning
to statements, I crossed the colour line, becoming one of
the first local women to legally marry one of the foreigners.
Neither Hottentot nor Dutch offspring were in truth new
South Africans. But when my husband died, I, a victim of
distress, became an alcoholic.
Eventually falling from grace, wanted by neither racial
group, I was relegated to historical vagueness. People know
I existed. But between the pages of official documentation
I wander unwanted like a wraith in space, neither
here nor there.

2005 Michael Stevenson. All rights reserved.