24 March 2011

Flora capensis

'The status of indigenous Cape flowers today is in some ways emblematic of the history of the Khoekhoe. Although there are more kinds of plants in the Cape Floristic Kingdom than there are in the whole of the northern hemisphere, many of these plants are now extinct, endangered or rarely seen [...] the importance of remembering the atrocities of the Dutch against the Khoekhoe is unquestionable. But to accept these occurrences as the only possible historical relation between the Khoekhoe and the Dutch is to blind ourselves to alternative stories of connection and hope that might exist in the archives of the period. Even if very few such stories are found, using all our creative faculties to reimagine the past might, today, suggest unexpected strategies for building more compassionate, considerate bonds with people whose cultures differ radically from our own.'

1, 2. Hottentots Holland, Flora Capensis 4 & 1, 2008
All works by Andrew Putter
Photography and compositing by Tony Meintjies
Flower arranging by Christopher Peter
Images courtesy of the Michael Stevenson Gallery

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