Presenting Chimurenga Chronic, New Cartographies

Launching the latest Chimurenga Chronic, produced in collaboration with Kwani Trust. Join us for a conversation with Ntone Edjabe, Billy Kahora, Achille Mbembe, Nolan Oswald Dennis and Francis Burger.

Date: Thursday 23 April 2015
Venue: VANSA, 1st Floor King Kong Building, New Doornfontein
Time: 6pm

Since its launch in 2011, every edition of The Chronic has engaged with this question: when will the new emerge – and if it is already here, how do we decipher it? But no edition has addressed this query as centrally as our current project on new cartographies.

Broadly, the project contests the narrowness of the notion of the “failed state” that publications such as Foreign Policy and various think-thanks mainstreamed at the peak of the structural adjustments of the late 1980s to justify Western interventionism in the so-called developing world. And of course, this notion does not exist in isolation, it is inextricably tied to the idea of development and the resulting instrumentalist logic in which our imagination is imprisoned. These are conceptual frameworks that we, Western-educated Africans who came of age during the 90s have absorbed – it is the thinking that shapes, in the main, our thinking on policy and our imagination of “the good life”.

Our reality cannot be mapped only by GDP, GDS, IDF and related indicators of “development”. Scales, set squares and compasses alone would not work; we also require hands, feet and hearts. And memory. Memory is central – here is Wendell Hassan Marsh: “Because memory is so often developed from non-written texts, these narratives are more difficult to trace because of the scarcity of traces, but deep in the ideologies, practices, and politics of those denied history is an ethereal yet very real memory that is un-stated but nonetheless dis-static. In other words, History is the science of the state, while memory is the art of the stateless.”


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