Suffering and Protest in Rhodesian Prisons During the Zimbabwean Liberation Struggle

Suffering and Protest in Rhodesian Prisons During the Zimbabwean Liberation Struggle

Author: 
Munochiveyi, Munyaradzi Bryn
Publisher: 
Taylor & Francis Group
Date published: 
2015
Record type: 
Journal Title: 
Journal of Southern African Studies (JSAS)
Source: 
Journal of Southern African Studies, Vol. 41, No. 1, February 2015, pp. 47-61
Abstract: 

This article is based on Zimbabwean ex-political prisoners' testimonies and writings, and argues that, although Rhodesian prisons were spaces of racialised abuse, curtailed freedoms, and heightened repression, they were also spaces of struggle, subversion and negotiation. Indeed, prisoners' testimonies and their written accounts reveal the depravity and brutality of prison life. They capture vividly some of the gruesome experiences in the state corridors of silence. Yet, as this essay demonstrates, these testimonies also disclose the ways in which prisoners were not simply victims of state-sponsored penal terror: prisoners told stories of how they struggled, coped and creatively adapted to the harsh prison regimes. I also argue that, by transforming the prison into an arena of struggle for political and social rights, African political offenders undermined the disciplinary, rehabilitative, and punitive intent of imprisonment. Political prisoners are important historical subjects in the telling of the struggle for liberation in Zimbabwe - prisoners' life stories and writings demonstrate the ways in which political prisoners confronted the colonial regime. As political prisoners, they were important symbols of the struggle for liberation, and were also producers of powerful critiques of the colonial regime through their writings.

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CITATION: Munochiveyi, Munyaradzi Bryn. Suffering and Protest in Rhodesian Prisons During the Zimbabwean Liberation Struggle . : Taylor & Francis Group , 2015. Journal of Southern African Studies, Vol. 41, No. 1, February 2015, pp. 47-61 - Available at: http://library.au.int/suffering-and-protest-rhodesian-prisons-during-zimbabwean-liberation-struggle