In the Thick of the Mist
In 1932 my great grandfather, a methodist minister and a missionary, bought a piece of land in Hogsback, a village high up in a cloud covered forest in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. There he built a mud and thatch house which remains our family home all these years later, full of musty old photos, methodist books and family legends. Hogsback, with its almost fictional landscape, has been regarded by generations of residents and travellers as sacred ground. Before the bloody colonial frontier wars and apartheid, before settlers appropriated land for holiday homes and pine plantations, people believed it was in these ancient forests that their ancestors spirits resided. Today Hogsback remains cloaked in mist and myth and yet is deeply fragmented, with the legacy colonial violence still present in everyday life.
A few years ago I started to explore the forests and village of Hogsback with my camera, searching for the spirits that occupied the area; the ghosts of the ancestors, including my own, who haunt this unsettled land.