2/26, 12pm “In the dark times, will there still be singing? The Imagination and Constraints in Zimbabwe”


Tinashe Mushakavanhu presents a timeline of literary production in Zimbabwe, focusing on 3 critical waves that have shaped the country’s black writing and intellectual traditions. Although Zimbabwean writers have longed for a secure place within the hierarchy of professions, their social status has remained ambiguous. At the same time, even though the successful development of literary infrastructure in the 80s salved persistent anxieties about Zimbabwe’s place in Africa after a prolonged period of isolation under Rhodesia’s unilateral declaration of independence, things disintegrated during Robert Mugabe’s long tenure in power. In this talk, he interrogates the discord and harmony of Zimbabwe’s recent post-independence history through the prisms of his digital archive, readingzimbabwe.com.

Tinashe Mushakavanhu is a writer and editor from Zimbabwe. He is the 2018 Andrew W. Mellon Writer in residence at Rhodes University, South Africa. He is the principal researcher for readingzimbabwe.com.

Photo credit: Argenis Apolinario

To RSVP, please click here.

Representing Migration Humanities Lab Works-in-Progress Showcase, 2/2

Videos of poetry readings are available here.

inTransit: Art & Migration Around Europe, Feb 1-2

inTransit: Arts & Migration around Europe

A Workshop, February 1-2, Nasher Museum

How does the history of migration around Europe change when we consider early modern Muslims, their expulsion from Spain, their crossing to North Africa in 1609? When we look Northwards, at thousands of local working men and women along the Channel, besieged by dynastic conflict, uprooted by religious war across French, Flemish, Nederlandish lands?

The inTransit research group takes these 2 cases to investigate because rarely are these peoples conceived as migrants. We focus attention on groups – religious communities and socio-economic classes – whose figures and own expression are missing from a general picture of migration. We choose to do so by way of the arts. The materials of visual and literary culture offer a telling way into this little-known early modern chapter of migration around Europe.

On February 1-2, we’re hosting a workshop to begin pursuing these questions. Colleagues from the Dept. of Romance Studies, Art, Art History and Visual Studies, and the Nasher Museum have invited a small group of cultural historians, artists, and a museum curator to join our investigation. Our approach involves working with creators and critics engaged with the question of migration today. inTransit combines historical research with today’s art practice, and curatorial thinking. And this work focuses on — updates — what continue to be two hot zones for migrants around Europe: the North African-Spanish passage, the Northern, Channel crossing . We believe that such collaborations will help build a fuller history of migration, and help deepen debates around those who face forced migration now.

The opening discussion on the evening, Feb. 1 welcomes the general public and all those interested in the issues, including in the local area.

Raquel Salvatella de Prada will be showing her work in progress, “Cornered,” a video installation that represents the motivation and struggles of African immigrants leaving their home country and making an attempt, most often failed, to cross the border from Morocco to the Spanish cities of Melilla and Ceuta, the only European cities on Africa’s mainland.

Through the workshop, inTransit aims to contribute to the campus and Durham community-wide debate on migration.

It also marks the first phase of preparing a small experimental exhibition with students set for the Nasher, Oct. 1-Jan. 6 2018.

James Amelang, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid:
on the Expulsion of the Moriscos from Spain

Pierre Olivier Dittmar, EEHS, Paris:
on the history of xenophobia in early-modern Northern Europe

Michael Gerli, University of Virginia:
on the Moriscos & Witnessing Genocide

Sara Razza, Guggenheim Museum:
on Art and Migration in the Middle East

Barthélémy Toguo, artist

Laura Weigert, Rutgers University:
on Tapestry & the Fabric of Mobility in early-modern Northern Europe

For more information on the inTransit project as a whole, see: https://intransitduke.org

11/16, 4:30pm: “Cornered”–Migration-based Video Installation

portraitTomorrow, November 16, 2017 at 4:30pm, Raquel Salvatella de Prada, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Visual Arts, Duke will present

“Cornered (a work in progress)”

Collision Space, Bay 10, 2nd floor, Room A266
Smith Warehouse


“Cornered,” is a video installation that represents the motivation and struggles of African immigrants leaving their home country and making an attempt, most often failed, to cross the border from Morocco to the Spanish cities of Melilla and Ceuta, the only European cities on Africa’s mainland.

The installation features video projections on a stylized Moroccan table with a dome covering the top area and the viewer sees the video projection by walking around the structure.

Raquel Salvatella de Prada is a computer artist and assistant professor of the practice of Visual Arts at Duke University. Her work often focuses on integrating computer animation and motion design with different traditional art forms by collaborating with artists of diverse backgrounds such as printmaking, painting, installation art, poetry and performance. She finds that the combination of her digital medium with physical visual media can be a powerful way to communicate social issues. Her experimental animation work and collaborative performance pieces have been featured at festivals and on stages across the country and internationally.

As always, drinks and snacks will be served.