'The Diary of a Country in Crisis': Zimbabwean Censorship and Adaptive Cultural Forms

'The Diary of a Country in Crisis': Zimbabwean Censorship and Adaptive Cultural Forms

Author: 
Harris, Ashleigh
Place: 
Oxon
Publisher: 
Taylor & Francis Group
Date published: 
2021
Record type: 
Journal Title: 
Journal of Southern African Studies
Source: 
Journal of Southern African Studies, Vol. 47, No. 5, 2021, pp. 787-798
Abstract: 

Zimbabwe has an extensive censorship infrastructure that operates both formally, through the board of censors, and informally, through intimidation by the police and other state and civil players. The use and misuse of censorship legislation in the country has made for a chaotic situation in which misinterpretations of the law have been widely used to justify police crackdowns, arrests and destruction of art, literature and other cultural forms. This article reads censorship as a multiple and sometimes inconsistent phenomenon that shapes the strategies of cultural producers in manifold ways in Zimbabwe. Different literary and cultural forms constitute varying degrees of threat to the state, the police or individuals, depending on the audiences they address. I wish to explore how literary and cultural forms adapt to very localised practices of censorship. Interpreting the shifting forms, genres and modalities that literature and culture take as part of their strategy to avoid censorship provides new understandings of how literature and culture records social change.

Language: 
Country focus: 

CITATION: Harris, Ashleigh. 'The Diary of a Country in Crisis': Zimbabwean Censorship and Adaptive Cultural Forms . Oxon : Taylor & Francis Group , 2021. Journal of Southern African Studies, Vol. 47, No. 5, 2021, pp. 787-798 - Available at: http://library.au.int/diary-country-crisis-zimbabwean-censorship-and-adaptive-cultural-forms-0