1840: our land by the Mediterranean Sea
— Wing Chan
Mres Art: Exhibition Studies Year 1






1840: our land
by the Mediterranean Sea

[white face men chase us. our people inside the cave]

It smells like fire, but I can hear no crackling nor roaring blaze. I open my eyes, or have I opened my eyes? The light is not here. Slowly, i accustom my eyes to the dark. Silhouette of my people becomes to form. I reach out to alert. They see no land nor sky, either. They smell the fire, too. The dark, cold cave gets warmer. I walk pass them to the direction where we came last night. The white faces were outside. Rough, broken stones are hurting my feet. They were not here when our people came in. I climb to the highest point possible and my head is hit hard. Giant rocks up there. We are locked? We are locked. Now our kids are hungry, but the smoke is the only to eat. It smells like bad burned earth. Bitterness, the meal is not good. Our women and men are hungry, too.

...rewritten by Wing Chan



1840: 900 miles south of Paris,
in the countryside south of Algiers

[500 tribesmen inside. General Bugeaud and his Frenchmen outside]

When they wake, it is still dark. It is so dark, they cannot see. They begin to smell fresh smoke, and the air becomes increasing acrid. The oldest man gets up and walks to the entrance. He walks forward, but he cannot find the exit. He scrambles over rubble that is now lying on the floor. He climbs to the top and finds his head against the roof. The entrance to the cave has been blocked up, the smoke is pouring in through the rocks like waves of water, heavy and thick. Asphyxiation is slow. The eyes smart, the lungs pant for breath, which only brings them more acrid, burning smoke.


...the original text
- Young, Robert. ‘Space and Land.ʼ In Postcolonialism—a Very Short Introduction.
New York: Oxford University Press, 2003, 56.





Young suggests that a postcolonial position concerns first and foremost the right to speak and not be spoken for. So what about a first person point of view of the same story.