Sounding the Land
2019, 30 mins
A Button without a Hole looks at dispossession and restitution of land in Salem Eastern Cape. The film details the history of the dispossession by the director’s family in 1820, and the role of this in the production of a system of wage labour. The settler narrative is contrasted to the narrative of Mongezi Madinda, one of the residents on the restituted land.
Just outside Makhanda, in an area the British military cleared of amaXhosa with a ‘brutal efficiency’* after the Fourth Frontier War, lies a cricket pitch with claims to being the oldest in the country. It is a wicket watered by the blood of removal and the trauma of forced labour. One rolled with frontier nostalgia and contemporary paranoia. How does it play?