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Maud Sulter: Service to Empire

Book relating to an individual, 2002
Published by: A19
Year published: 2002
Number of pages: 80
ISBN: 0-9543302-0-X

image of Maud Sulter: Service to Empire

Maud Sulter, Service to Empire, Published by A19, Edinburgh, 2002

In 2002 Scottish artist Maud Sulter’s play, Service to Empire, was published. The play was an innovative recasting of Sulter’s own biography. Whilst she herself was born of a white Scottish mother and a Ghanaian father in Glasgow in 1960, the central narrative of Service to Empire was located in mid 20th century Ghana and centred on the relationship between a white Scottish man and a Ghanaian woman; an illicit union which resulted in the birth of JJ, a fictional character growing up to bear more than a passing resemblance to Flight Lieutenant Jerry J. Rawlings, who was, for two spells, one of Ghana’s military rulers. As the play moves towards its denouement, Big Man John (JJ’s father, who has spent much of his life working as a pharmacist in colonial Ghana) receives a communication “…from Buckingham Palace. The Queen of England.” It reads, “I have been asked to inform you that it is the Secretary of State’s intention to have the Prime Minister put to The Queen a recommendation that She may be pleased that you be appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire. The Secretary would be glad to know that this mark of Her Majesty’s favour is acceptable to you. The suggestion should, of course, be kept strictly confidential until publication of the list takes place.”

The cover of the smal book features a detail of a work by Sulter, though no details are given.

On page 2 of the publication, a website, www.maudsulter.com is listed, but no such site exists.


Related people

»  Maud Sulter

Born, 1960 in Glasgow, Scotland. Died, 2008