Crosscurrents of Imperial Desire: Sexual Minority Rights, Memory and the ‘New’ South Africa

The narrative Proteus (2003) ends exactly where the film’s circuitous trajectory begins: with the sentencing of two men, long been imprisoned off the shore of the Cape Colony on Robben Island, to death by drowning in Table Bay for the crime of sodomy. The sentencing of these men, an African of indeterminate origin named Claas Blank and a Dutch Sailor named Rijkaart Jacobz, is one of the archival fragments the film builds upon to imagine multiply triangulated intimate relationships between three men on the island.