The Zimbabwe International Film and Festival Trust (ZIFFT) has launched its ‘Narratives from Zimbabwe’ project to enhance Zimbabwe’s history and culture knowledge base, by recording on film Zimbabwe’s history, culture, and social foundation. Zimbabwe has a strong heritage that is being lost because we have tended to rely on oral and unrecorded transmission, thus putting this highly valuable knowledge at risk of being lost. ZIFFT is working in close partnership with the Zimbabwe Heritage Trust on this project.
The project’s aim is to identify and capture Zimbabwe’s narratives as audio and video recordings, to create a resource that creative practitioners can draw from to produce new cultural artefacts for society to interact with. The initiative is designed to encourage a culture of recording these narratives for the future with mechanisms for other organisations and society at large to contribute to populating the resource developed during the project.
There is a wealth of historical narrative resident in our elderly citizens that, if captured, would provide an invaluable resource for film makers and other creative and cultural workers, and future generations to draw from. With each passing day, information is lost, thus making it imperative that we capture as much of these stories that form the foundation of who we are as a people.
Additionally, the large volume of information available out there is not necessarily in a format that makes it easy to use, especially by the younger generation. The Narratives from Zimbabwe project will present its information in the form of an interactive digital archive driven website. All that anyone interested in knowing about Zimbabwe’s history, heritage, and culture needs to do will be to visit the website and click on a specific area of interest, and sample the brief introductions and trailers to choose the narrative they wish to follow.
Funding for the project has been provided by the European Union and INTERARTS Foundation for International Cultural Cooperation, Barcelona as part of its ‘Culture at Work Africa’ Project. ‘Culture at Work Africa’ is a consortium of eight African, European and international partners who have joined forces with the European Union to create new opportunities and mobilise stakeholders to promote intercultural dialogue and cultural diversity in urban and peri-urban areas in Africa as drivers for social inclusion and sustainable human development.
The project, launched in February 2018 will end in 2021. Culture at Work Africa has taken up the challenge raised by the African Union and its vision for 2063 for “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena.” To achieve this, Culture at Work Africa carries out a wide range of activities including the support to innovative on-the-ground projects aiming at developing safe and neutral spaces for intercultural dialogue, active citizenship and intercommunity relations, training and capacity-building of cultural operators, public authorities and cultural mediators, networking and exchanges between different stakeholders, as well as awareness raising on the importance of culture and cultural diversity for sustainable human development.