Latin American Report - Volume 28, Issue 1, 2012
Volume 28, Issue 1, 2012
Author Washington MushoreSource: Latin American Report 28, pp 250 –258 (2012)More Less
When Africa was colonised in the 1890s by the British, French and the Portuguese, they quickly introduced various media such as films and theatre to Africans that justified conquest and with the ultimate aim of projecting the Europeans as a superior and God's chosen race. The colonisers aim was to undermine African confidence in themselves in African cultural achievements, religion and way of life. After seeing these films and theatrical performances, for instance, Africans were supposed to renounce their traditional values in favour of the new values of Christian individualism or European culture as propounded by the modernisation theory of development. Thus, through various media, European colonial governments managed to reshape, control and dominate the minds of Africans so that they would become compliant with colonial 'exploitative' economic interests. In order to move out of this colonial mindset or to emancipate African minds from mental slavery or historical traumas caused by colonialism, this paper argues that decolonisation of the African mind, as Ngugi (1987) puts it is inevitable. It is therefore the aim of this article to demonstrate the importance of decolonial epistemology in the decolonisation of the African mind by not totally or completely rejecting modernity, but by only becoming masters of their destiny through theatre. Driskill (2003) highlighted that the colonisation of Africa culminated in 'kinesthetic wounding' and the only way that these wounds can be healed or reversed is through decolonisation which is a 'kinesthetic healing'. Thus, the ultimate argument of this article is that since most African people still carry the wounds of the past in their bodies; it is only through the incorporation of the 'decolonial' epistemic perspectives or thoughts in theatre that a 'reclamation of individual and communal body, memory and story' (Butterwick and Selman 2003) of Africans will be achieved, thus, enabling a continuance of African oral traditions and imaginations of new stories for a decolonised future. In other words, if theatre is to powerfully connect mind, body and emotions or to deconstruct oppressive relations or mindsets imbued in African people's mindsets during colonialism it has to transform these African audiences through various decolonisation strategies which are incorporated within the decolonial epistemology or epistemic perspectives.
Homicide in legitimate defense of honour : representation of sexuality in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold (1982)Author Barbra Chiyedza ManyararaSource: Latin American Report 28, pp 259 –278 (2012)More Less
Garcia Marquez's representation of sexuality in Chronicle of a Death Foretold delves into the socio-cultural practice of honour killing as a form of violence premised on machismo and marianismo as sexual roles. Women's bodies become the sites for honour-bound shows of power but with tragic consequences. The perpetration of honour killing in this novel illuminates the complex matrices of race, sex and gender as they operate within a system that is dogged by hypocrisy in the family, religious, civil and legal institutions. Tradition and its relentless hold on people, more than economic factors, is the force that allows a quite unnecessary death to occur. Thus Garcia Marquez offers insights into how societies may continue to embrace ideas that are detrimental to a people's socio-cultural and economic development.
Cultural diversity and the Zimbabwean pungwe as carnival space : a comparison with the Brazilian carnivalesque experienceAuthor Advice ViririSource: Latin American Report 28, pp 279 –287 (2012)More Less
The article critically examines the influence and effects of Africa's double tragedy and very momentous incidents of slavery and colonialism to the Caribbean people of African descent. In spite of all the cultural emasculations, the denigrations of slaves by their slave masters in this present day age and low esteem with which Africans and Caribbeans of African descent are regarded in world opinion, they were able to cling on to their African cultural elements. To the Caribbean person of African descent it was worse off than the African person because of having undergone a double process of enslavement and colonization. This article has chosen to compare the Brazilian carnivalesque celebrations to show the retention of firmer linkages with the African cultures particularly with the Zimbabwean Pungwe as offering carnival space during and after the Chimurenga War.
Author Urther RwafaSource: Latin American Report 28, pp 288 –297 (2012)More Less
This article explores how the film The Legend of the Sky Kingdom challenges and subverts political censorship in Zimbabwe by deploying fantasy expressed through the art of junkimation. Fantasy is a fictive projection of one's imagination and an art for contemplating alternative ways of explaining the world of the 'real'. The fantastic world created through The Legend of the Sky Kingdom imagines a new life in Zimbabwe; a life of anticipatory allegories of peace and prosperity. The argument projected through this article is that although animation is relegated to the margins of low culture of trivial entertainment or childish amusement, its use of fictive elements of fantasy opens up spaces of difference, and of struggle. Spaces of struggle make cartoon characters covertly undermine state restrictions as well as challenge the ideological shibboleths of power by narrating alternative histories and memories. The capacity of the film The Legend of the Sky Kingdom to tell alternative truths, and imagines a new Zimbabwe free of political persecution is what makes its discourses subversive, and a target for political censorship.
Author Augustine TirivanganaSource: Latin American Report 28, pp 298 –311 (2012)More Less
This paper focuses on two critical issues: Firstly, it demonstrates that the current constitution which is the basis of Zimbabwean law is not only western in origin but that it also wrongfully downplays the indigenous law and value system of Zimbabwe. The paper then briefly discusses how unhu/ubuntu should be understood as the cornerstone of indigenous Zimbabwean law. Secondly, it then situates ngozi within the discourse of Zimbabwean indigenous law, arguing that understanding the philosophy behind ngozi is essentially that of unhuism/ubuntuism and natural justice. In the process several misconceptions about ngozi are dispelled and the record is straightened. A correct conceptualization of ngozi is expected to promote greater harmony among the Africans and indeed whoever cares to listen to Africa's voice of conscience.
Zimbabwean revisions of the western dramaturgical frame and psychological acting : a postcolonial approachAuthor Samuel RavengaiSource: Latin American Report 28, pp 312 –327 (2012)More Less
This article seeks to discuss how the contest of Rhodesian and African counter-discourses affected the identity of alternative theatre with respect to western dramaturgical frame and acting. The question that this article is trying to answer is how does the dramaturgical frame and acting reflect, mediate, and challenge the relations of domination and subordination between western culture and indigenous African culture? I argue that the western dramaturgical frame and acting are altered through a process of 'keying' and 'fabrication' by alternative Zimbabwean theatre makers between 1980 and 1996. Sometimes the western dramaturgical frame is deconstructed by using aspects of it along side an indigenous theatrical matrix such as in Kavanagh's Mavambo (1985/97) and Mujajati's The Rain of my Blood (1991). I will return to the terms 'keying' and 'fabrication' shortly after this introductory remark.
Written Zimbabwean drama as/and intervention : the case of Raisedon Baya's Super Patriots and Morons and Tomorrow's PeopleAuthor Ephraim VhutuzaSource: Latin American Report 28, pp 328 –335 (2012)More Less
The paper discusses written Zimbabwean drama as/and intervention. Using the theory of scenarios and anti-scenarios, the paper focuses on Raisedon Baya's two dramas: Super Patriots and Morons and Tomorrow's People written in 2001 and 2004 respectively. Both plays were finally published as an anthology of plays entitled Tomorrow's People and Other Plays in 2009 with a grant from the Culture Fund and Sida. The paper argues that written drama like institutions such as theatre, the church, local and international civic bodies and supranational identities such as SADC, AU, EU, UN among others, can be used successfully to plead with those in power on behalf of ordinary citizens for certain structural changes to be made in a given society. This advocacy role is inevitable in written Zimbabwean drama famously known for engaging with immediate issues affecting society; in the process challenging the dominant ideology as part of the broad coalition of oppositional cultural and or ideological actors. Such drama assumes a prominent role in the troubled, diseased and choking Zimbabwean landscape of 2001-2004 when the plays were written. Interventionist drama is one of multiple possibilities and the paper attempts to demonstrate how Raisedon Baya's drama has 'intervened' in a country saddled with violence, suspicion, tribal hatred, political intolerance and other social, economic and political ills.