Peter Clarke (1929 - )
Unknown Youth, Soweto 1976

mixed media
50 x 35cm

Suddenly, assuming responsibility, you pick up the child, the innocence
of his young body violated by policemen's bullets. The child lies inert
in your arms.
Alongside the boy's hysterical sister, you seem suddenly like an older protective
brother. Emotionally you have embraced them like a blood relative. And
yet, caught up in this insane moment of panic, where are you going? Even
you who are older & perhaps wiser than the two children do not know the
answer. You are a youth catapulted ever so suddenly into manhood. Panic-
stricken, confused, you move through space into the unpredictable future.
We look at this little group of young people on their bloody journey, held
for ever visually. Within the time frame of the picture depicting a specifically
violent historical movement. Who are you?
You are nameless. But simply because of your spontaneous expression of
compassion you have become for ever a noble being. In retrospect there will
be those who will wonder not only about Hector Peterson & his sister Antoinette
but also about you.

2005 Michael Stevenson. All rights reserved.