Independent Museums and Culture Centres in Colonial and Postcolonial Zimbabwe : Non-State Players, Local Communities and Self-Representation book cover
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Independent Museums and Culture Centres in Colonial and Postcolonial Zimbabwe
Non-State Players, Local Communities and Self-Representation



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ISBN 9780367621711
April 4, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
206 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations

 
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Book Description

Independent Museums and Culture Centres in Colonial and Postcolonial Zimbabwe presents case studies that grapple with the issue of ‘decolonising practice’ in privately owned museums and cultural centres in Zimbabwe.

Including contributions from academics and practitioners, this book focuses on privately-run cultural institutions and highlights that there has, until now, been scant scholarly information about their existence and practice. Arguing that the recent resurgence of such museums, which are not usually obliged to endorse official narratives of the central government, points to some desire to decolonise and indigenise museums, the contributors explore approaches that have been used to reconfigure such colonially inherited institutions to suit the postcolonial terrain. The volume also explores how privately-owned museums can tap into or contribute to current conversations on decoloniality that encourage reflexivity, inclusivity, de-patriarchy, multivocality, community participation and agency. Exploring the motives and purpose of such institutions, the book argues that they are being utilised to confront deeply entrenched stigmatisation and marginalisation.

Independent Museums and Culture Centres in Colonial and Postcolonial Zimbabwe demonstrates that postcolonial African museums have become an arena for negotiating history, legacies, and identities. The book will be of interest to academics and students around the world who are engaged in the study of museums and heritage, African studies, history and culture. It will also appeal to museum practitioners working across Africa and beyond.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Chapter 1: Museum diversity in Africa: museums, related exhibitionary institutions and non-state players

Jesmael Mataga, Thomas Panganayi Thondhlana & Dawson Munjeri

Part I: Colonial museology, "un-inherited pasts" and decolonial possibilities

Chapter 2: Saving Modern Heritage: The National Railways of Zimbabwe’s Railways Museum, Bulawayo

Rob Burrett

Chapter 3: Legacies of the British Empire: Remembering Rhodes at the Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition, Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe

Meshullam Mudzedze, Thomas Panganayi Thondhlana & Edmore Nyamutowa

Chapter 4: Colonial Wounds and The Demand for Social Justice: The Case of The Murray Macdougall Museum

Thomas Panganayi Thondhlana & Tawanda Mukwende

Chapter 5: Museums in Small Places: The Milton High School Museum, Bulawayo

Francis Muchemwa

Chapter 6: Colonial Vestiges, Difficult Heritage and The Post-Colony: Rescuing Ian Smith’s Collections at The Gwenoro Ecomuseum, Shurugwi

Simbarashe Shadreck Chitima

 

Part II: Liberation heritage; museum-making and new narratives

Chapter 7 African Liberation Heritage in The Post-Colonial Period: The Museumisation of Joshua Nkomo’s House in Bulawayo

Henry Chiwaura

Chapter 8: Liberation Heritage And "Patriotic History": Preserving the Legacy of the ‘Soul of The Nation’ At Kwavamuzenda House Museum

Lesley Hatipone Machiridza & Ndinaishe Mazvihwa

 

Part III: Independent players, communities and cultural rights

Chapter 9: Independent Living Museums, Intangible Heritage and Sustainability: The Kambako Living Museum, Chiredzi

Jesmael Mataga and Thomas Thondhlana

Chapter 10: Local Narratives and Decolonised Knowledge Production at Amagugu International Heritage Centre, Matobo District

Butholezwe Kgosi Nyathi

Chapter 11: Cultural Restoration, Self-Representation and Community Development: A Case Study of Paiyapo Arts Development and Heritage Centre, Chipinge

Phillip Kusasa, Elias Konyana & Fortune Sibanda

Chapter 12: African Aesthetics and Decolonial Aesthesis: Revisiting the Art and Non-Art Debate At The Independent Art Museum In Masvingo

Thomas Panganayi Thondhlana, Vongai Gloria Chinuwo & Jesmael Mataga

Chapter 13: Towards Community-Driven Curatorship: Traditional Chiefs and Cultural Connoisseurs at The Avuxeni Community Museum, Chiredzi South District

Herbert Pikela, Thomas Panganayi Thondhlana & Steyn Khesani Madlome

Index

 

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Editor(s)

Biography

Thomas P. Thondhlana holds an MSc in Technology and Analysis of Archaeological Materials and a PhD in Archaeology both from the University College London (UCL), United Kingdom. He is currently the holder of the UNESCO Chair on African Heritage and Director of the Centre for Culture and Heritage Studies at Great Zimbabwe University. He is also serving as a member of the National World Heritage Committee and Standing Committee on Culture in Zimbabwe. His research interests cut across several areas which include pre-colonial mining and metallurgy, archaeological science, cultural entrepreneurship, cultural economics, liberation heritage, and museology. He is a co-editor of the book entitled "African Museums in the Making: Reflections on the Politics of Material and Public Culture in Zimbabwe" (2015, Langaa Research & Publishing Common Initiative Group).

Dawson Munjeri is a Research Professor at the Centre for Culture and Heritage Studies at the Great Zimbabwe University since March 2018. He is one of the most experienced scholars in the cultural and natural heritage field from Zimbabwe. He was instrumental in setting up the ‘Oral traditions/history’ programme of the National Archives of Zimbabwe (1978 -1983). Between 1984 and 2001 he served in various capacities and eventually became the Executive Director of the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe (NMMZ). From March 2002 to December 2017 he was with the Zimbabwe Permanent Delegation to UNESCO in Paris. He has published over fifty book chapters and articles in refereed journals on both tangible and intangible heritage. He holds a PhD in International Relations and Diplomacy from the Centre d’ Etudes Diplomatique et Strategies, Paris. His PhD research was entitled: ‘An Analytical Approach to International Treaties on Cultural and Natural Heritage in the Context of Sub-Saharan Africa’.

Jesmael Mataga is an Associate Professor and the inaugural Head of the School of Humanities at the Sol Plaatje University (SPU) in South Africa. He has experience in museums and heritage management with interests in museum curation, communities and museums, heritage and communities, intangible cultural heritage, cultural diversity, and UNESCO conventions. Before joining the Sol Plaatje University, he taught in Culture and Heritage Studies programmes, at the National University of Lesotho and the University of Zimbabwe. He started his career as a curator with the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe. His recent work includes a co-written book, Museums as Agents for Social Change (2021, Routledge).