African Museums in the Making
350 Pages
English
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African Museums in the Making

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Gain access to the library to view online
Learn more
350 Pages
English

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One of the central theoretical and practical issues in post-colonial Africa is the relevance, nature, and politics at play in the management of museum institutions on the continent. Most African museums were established during the 19th and 20th centuries as European imperialists were spreading their colonial tentacles across the continent. The attainment of political independence has done little to undo or correct the obnoxious situation. Most African countries continue to practice colonial museology despite surging scholarship and calls by some Afro-centric and critical scholars the world over to address the quandaries on the continent's museum institutions. There is thus an unresolved struggle between the past and the present in the management of museums in Africa. In countries such as Zimbabwe, the struggle in museum management has been precipitated by the sharp economic downturn that has gripped the country since the turn of the millennium. In view of all these glitches, this book tackles the issue of the management of heritage in Zimbabwe. The book draws on the findings by scholars and researchers from different academic orientations and backgrounds to advance the thesis that museums and museology in Zimbabwe face problems of epic proportions that require urgent attention. It makes insightful suggestions on possible solutions to the tapestry of the inexorably enigmatic amalgam of complex problems haunting museum institutions in Zimbabwe, calling for a radical transformation of museology as a discipline in the process. This book should appeal to policy makers, scholars, researchers and students from disciplines such as museology, archaeology, social-cultural anthropology, and culture and heritage studies.

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Published by
Published 03 April 2015
Reads 2
EAN13 9789956792719
Language English
Document size 4 MB

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AFRICAN MUSEUMS INTHE MAKING AFRICA MUSEUMS IN THE MAKING Reflections on the Politics of Material and Public Culture in Zimbabwe
E DITED BY
EDITEDBY Munyaradzi Mawere, Henry Chiwaura and Thomas Panganayi Thondhlana
African Museums in the Making: Reflections on the Politics of Material and Public Culture in Zimbabwe
Edited by Munyaradzi Mawere; Henry Chiwaura; & Thomas Panganayi Thondhlana Langaa Research & Publishing CIG Mankon, Bamenda
Publisher: LangaaRPCIG Langaa Research & Publishing Common Initiative Group P.O. Box 902 Mankon Bamenda North West Region Cameroon Langaagrp@gmail.comwww.langaa-rpcig.net Distributed in and outside N. America by African Books Collective orders@africanbookscollective.com www.africanbookcollective.com ISBN: 9956-792-82-9 ©Munyaradzi Mawere; Henry Chiwaura; & Thomas Panganayi Thondhlana 2015
DISCLAIMER All views expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Langaa RPCIG.
List of Contributors Munyaradzi Mawere holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Dr Mawere also holds a Master’s Degree in Philosophy and B.A (Hons) Degree in Philosophy from the University of Zimbabwe. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Culture and Heritage Studies at Great Zimbabwe University. Before joining this university, Dr Mawere was a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe and at Universidade Pedagogica, Mozambique, where he has also worked in different capacities as a Senior lecturer, Assistant Research Director, Postgraduate Co-ordinator and Associate Professor. He has an outstanding publishing record of more than eighty pieces of work which include more than twenty books and over sixty book chapters and papers in scholarly journals. His research interests include, but not limited to, knowledge studies, environmental conservation, African studies, decoloniality, post-coloniality, African political systems, culture and heritage studies. Thomas Panganayi Thondhlana holds a PhD in Archaeology from the University College London. He is currently the Director of the School of Culture and Heritage Studies at the Great Zimbabwe University. His research interests include public archaeology, archaeometallurgy, museology, cultural economics and heritage entrepreneurship. Henry Chiwaurais currently a PhD Candidate in Culture and Heritage Tourism with the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He obtained his MA in Heritage Studies from the University of Zimbabwe. He is working as Lecturer in Archaeology, Museums and Heritage Studies, Great Zimbabwe University, Zimbabwe. His research interests include, but not
limited to, heritage management, museology and public archaeology. Jesmael Mataga is a Senior Lecturer at the National University of Lesotho. He has experience in research and training in heritage management with substantial experience in museum curation, intangible heritage, cultural diversity and UNESCO conventions. He worked for the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe (NMMZ) and taught in the Archaeology Unit of the University of Zimbabwe before joining the National University of Lesotho teaching in the Cultural and Heritage Studies programme. Farai M. Chabatais Senior Curator of Ethnography with the National Museum and Monuments of Zimbabwe. He obtained his MA in African History with the University of Zimbabwe. His research interests include heritage management, intangible cultural heritage and collections management. Tapuwa Raymond Mubayais a Lecturer at Great Zimbabwe University, Faculty of Culture and Heritage. Before joining Great Zimbabwe University, Mr. Mubaya worked for National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe for eight years as the Senior Curator of Archaeology and Head of the Great Zimbabwe Conservation Centre. Currently he is heading the Department of Heritage Studies at Great Zimbabwe University. Joshua Chikozhois a holder of a Master’s Degree in Heritage Studies from the University of Zimbabwe. He is the current Curator for the BaTonga Community Museum. His research interests include community museum, intangible heritage and heritage management.
Simbarashe Shadreck Chitimais currently a PhD Candidate with the Midlands State University in Zimbabwe. He holds a BTech Hons CAD (CUT), PGDE (MSU), and Master of Arts in Museum Studies from Midlands State University (MSU). He is working as Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology, Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies at Midlands State University. Jane Sigaukeincumbent teaching assistant in the is Department of Archaeology, Heritage and Museum Studies at Great Zimbabwe University. Her research interests are in the area of sustainable heritage management, traditional methods of managing heritage and museology. She obtained her BA Honours in Archaeology, Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies from Midlands State University. Genius Tevera is currently an Assistant Lecturer at Great Zimbabwe University, Department of Heritage Studies, Faculty of Culture and Heritage Studies, Zimbabwe. Njabulo Chipangura is currently employed by the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe as an archaeologist and is based in Eastern Zimbabwe at Mutare Museum. His research interests include looking at the configuration and reconfiguration of museum collections and exhibition practices within colonial and post-colonial settings. He has also researched on the different classifications of heritage in Zimbabwe with a particular focus on the category of historic buildings, looking at how it has lost relevancy in the present conservation practices. He has a published some papers in the International Research Journal of Arts and Social Sciences and in the International Council of Museums (ICOM) periodic committee’s publications.
Table of Contents Preface………………………………………………… ix Chapter 1 Capturing the fading past and making nous of the present-future of African Museums: An introduction……………………………………….. 1 Chapter 2 ‘Old wine in new bottles’: A critical historiographical survey of Zimbabwean museum institutions………. 15 Chapter 3 Community museums in Zimbabwe as a means of engagement and empowerment: Challenges and prospects……………………………………………….47 Chapter 4 ‘Orphans in a strange land’: Controversies and challenges in the repatriation of African cultural property from European museums…………………………………...79 Chapter 5 Museum practices as perpetuators of an ideology: A Zimbabwean perspective…………………………….. 115 Chapter 6 ‘A shadow that refuses to leave’: The enduring legacy of colonialism in Zimbabwean museum governance…. 137 vii
Chapter 7 Museums objects, relics and counter – heritage practices in postcolonial Zimbabwe…………………………….163 Chapter 8 Africanising museums on the African soil: A critique of the Western concept of keeping human remains in Zimbabwean museums………………………………. 201 Chapter 9 Developing sustainable museums through ‘greening’: A case study of the Zimbabwe Military Museum…….. 223 Chapter 10 Zimbabwean museums in the digital age: A quest to increase museum visibility in public space through social media…………………………………………………...247 Chapter 11 Representation, reproduction and transmission of public culture in Zimbabwean museums, commemorations and festivals…………………………………………………269 Chapter 12 Museums, sites and the limits of representation in Africa – A case study of ‘traditional villages’ at archaeological monuments and sites in Zimbabwe………………….289Chapter 13 Museums and formal education curriculum: The utilisation of museums by rural primary school pupils in Zimbabwe……………………………………………...315
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Preface African Museums in the Making …is a remarkable text that profoundly examines and reflects on an array of aspects and themes of museums and museology in Zimbabwe and beyond. Hitherto, there has been dearth of literature on museums as institutions and museology as a practice in Zimbabwe. Consequently, it has been both frustrating and disheartening for students, academics, and members of the public with an interest on museology as they have struggled to find foundational literature concerning museum institutions and trends in the museum practice in the country. Prior to this publication, students and practitioners in museum studies at various institutions in Zimbabwe had to rely entirely on literature that was published mostly by Western scholars, some of which was more oftoxic waste given their Euro-centric tang and penchant of perpetuating social vestiges and academic hegemony centred on the global North. African scholars especially from Zimbabwe had done little to publish reading materials on Zimbabwean museums. Yet, books are ‘humanity in print’ (to use the words of Daniel Gilman, the first president of John Hopkins University). Gilham had this to say with regard to publishing reading materials especially books: Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled and speculation at a standstill. Without books, the development of civilisation would have been impossible. They are engineers of change, windows of the world, and lighthouses erected in the sea of time. They are companions, magicians, bankers of treasuries of the mind. Books are humanity in print (cited in Okai 2000: 153). Recently, universities in Zimbabwe have started to offer degree programmes at both undergraduate and post-graduate ix