Reading Zimbabwe

2 mins read

Reading Zimbabwe is an independent not-for-profit digital platform founded in 2016. It is committed to discover and celebrate Zimbabwean literatures and to place them before the largest possible audience.

The project was born out of a curiosity for a deeper understanding of the nature and extent of knowledge production, dissemination and use around the subject of ‘Zimbabwe.’ While this information is available on the internet, it is scattered, as such Reading Zimbabwe is the first archive of its kind, containing book metadata and its derivatives which we hope are relevant in understanding Zimbabwe and its myriad stories.

Of the many facets this project attempts to deal with, we will highlight four in particular:

  • the paramount importance of hierarchies in the existing knowledge order,
  • the relationship of reciprocal legitimation between knowledge and power,
  • the transnational production of knowledge related to Zimbabwe, and
  • the political economy of the commercialization of knowledge.

Black Chalk and Co.

Digital community: founders Nontsikelelo Mutiti and Tinashe Mushakavanhu. (Photo: Dominique Sindayiganza)

Reading Zimbabwe is a product of Black Chalk and Co., a creative think tank founded by Nontsikelelo Mutiti, a visual artist and Assistant Professor in Graphic Design at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Dr. Tinashe Mushakavanhu, a writer and literary historian. The work is collaborative, bringing together writers, artists, designers, academics, and technologists with a mutual interest in publishing, archiving, mapping, curating conversations and exhibitions, and facilitating residencies. What animates all these activities is the effort to engender a new culture and new forms of publishing, reading and creative production.

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