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oa Litnet Akademies : 'n Joernaal vir die Geesteswetenskappe, Natuurwetenskappe, Regte en Godsdienswetenskappe - "Dit kom daarop neer dat ek nie vergete was nie" : die vroulike liggaam, gender en geweld in Suid-Afrikaanse slawenarratiewe

Volume 7, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1995-5928

 

Abstract

Hierdie artikel bied 'n narratiewe ontleding van sowel historiese hofstukke as geselekteerde Suid-Afrikaanse romans wat fokus op slawerny in die Kaapkolonie. Deur die tradisionele grens tussen Geskiedenis en Letterkunde te oorbrug, poog hierdie artikel om 'n meer omvattende blik op die veronderstelde belewenis van slawevroue in Suid-Afrika te verkry. Sowel hofstukke as romans word beskou as representasies wat met letterkundige tegnieke ontleed kan word om patriargale en rassistiese aannames te ontbloot. Hierdie gender- en koloniale konstruksies word geïientifiseer, en daar word verder aangedui hoe hierdie konstruksies meervoudige vorme van geweld teen die liggame van slawevroue tot gevolg gehad het. Alhoewel sulke konstruksies ook die gees en denke van slawe beïnvloed het, fokus die artikel op die liggaamlike uitwerking daarvan op slawevroue. Die ideologiese invalshoek van die hofamptenare het die vorm en aard van die hofstukke beïnvloed. Gevolglik laat hierdie dokumente ons nie toe om die stemme van die slawe direk te hoor nie. Terwyl die manlike slawestem gedemp is, is die stemme van slawevroue deur 'n meervoudige marginalisasie stilgemaak, aangesien hulle onderdruk is as gevolg van hulle sosiale posisie, ras en geslag. Ons moet dus tussen die reëls deur lees om die leemtes te vul wat in die hofnarratiewe gelaat is. Moderne romans oor slawerny laat ons egter toe om ván hierdie gapings te verken deur middel van die alternatiewe moontlikhede wat die skrywers voorstel. Nóg die hofstukke, nóg die romans verskaf 'n direkte weergawe van die belewenis van slawevroue. Deur die tekste saam as narratiewe te lees kan ons egter 'n beter idee kry van die omvang van die kwesbaarheid van slawevroue se liggame.


This article offers a narrative analysis of court cases as well as selected South African novels that focus on slavery in the Cape Colony. By crossing the traditional boundary between History and Literature, the article attempts to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the possible lived experience of slave women in South Africa. Both court records and novels are regarded as representations that can be analysed with literary techniques in order to expose patriarchal and racist assumptions. These gender and colonial constructions are identified, and the article illustrates how they resulted in multiple forms of violence against the bodies of slave women. Although such constructions also influenced the spirit and thoughts of slaves, the article focuses on their bodily impact on slave women. The court records are shaped by the ideological vantage point of the court officials in the Cape Colony and they do not allow us to hear the voices of slaves directly. While the male slave voice is muffled, the voices of slave women are silenced by multiple marginalisations since they were oppressed because of their social position, race and gender. We thus need to read between the lines to fill the spaces that were left in the court records. Novels about slavery allow us to explore these gaps through the alternative possibilities that the authors suggest. Neither court records nor novels provide a direct account of the experiences of slave women. However, by reading these different kinds of texts as narratives, we can gain greater insight into the extent of the vulnerability of slave women's bodies.

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/content/litnet/7/3/EJC62265
2010-12-01
2016-12-09

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