The Idea of Matabeleland in Digital Spaces: Genealogies, Discourses, and Epistemic Struggles establishes a debate and dialogue between critical and post-/de-colonial approaches in the study of subalternity in online media representations. Editors Khanyile Mlotshwa and Mphathisi Ndlovu curate chapters that deal specifically with the intersectional subalternity of Matabeleland, a political and geographical region in the Southwest part of Zimbabwe comprising of three provinces: Matabeleland South, Matabeleland North, and Bulawayo metropolitan province. The subalternity of this region emerges in politics and popular culture, including media, as intersectional in terms of ethnicity, region, gender, class, and beyond. This book argues that in online spaces the liberatory politics of Matabeleland emerges as trapped in coloniality.
Khanyile Mlotshwa is a Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Global Scholarly Dialogue Programme research fellow.
Mphathisi Ndlovu is research fellow of journalism at Stellenbosch University.
Khanyile Mlotshwa and Mphathisi Ndlovu
PART I: Conceptual and Theoretical Issues
1. Marginal Societies Online: A Critical Appreciation of Genocide and its Politics in Cyberspace
2. Counter-Memory, Ethno-Nationalism, and the Discursive Constructions of Matabeleland in Digital Spaces
3: The Pitfalls of Matabeleland as a (Digital) Work of Memory
4: Digital Storytelling as a Tool for Peacebuilding in Post-Conflict Matabeleland
PART II: Minorities of Minorities
5: Hidden in Public: The Symbolic Annihilation of the Khoisan People in Zimbabwe’s Public Sphere
Christina Ncube and Khanyile Mlotshwa
6: The Batonga Representations in Matabeleland Imaginations
7: Kalanga Activism and the Imaginations of Matabeleland in Digital Spaces
Nkosini Aubrey Khupe
8: Theorizing Online Female Journalism as Border Practices in the Case of Amakhosikazi Media, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Khanyile Mlotshwa and Busi Bhebhe
PART III: Performing Subalternity in Digital Space
9: Performing Subalternity Online: A Critical Study of the Centre for Innovation and Technology (CITE)
Samkeliso Ncube and Mphathisi Ndlovu
10: Interrogating Cyber-Cultures and Critical Consciousness Development in Matabeleland
11: The Communicative Construction of Ndebele Identity in Radio Mthwakazi
Bhekinkosi Jakobe Ncube
PART IV: Ndebele Nationalism in Digital Spaces
12: Beyond Provincialising a Nation Without a State: Representations of Matabeleland in Umthwakazi Review Digital Space
13: ‘The Colonized Mean Little to the Colonizer’: The Digital Lives of Colonial Diplomacy
Blondie Beatrice Ndebele
14: The (Digital) Return of the Ndebele Monarchy?
Mbongeni Jonny Msimanga
15: Photographing the ‘Nation’ in the Digital Age: A Case of Matabeleland Discourses on Social Media Platforms
Lungile Augustine Tshuma and Lorraine Phiri
About the Contributors
“Mlotshwa and Ndlovu have successfully assembled a stellar cohort of young and brilliant intellectuals to engage the important and often ignored question of Matebeleland in Zimbabwe from the vantage point of media studies. The result is a treasure trove—indeed a rich, enriching, and eye-opening study—of the multifaceted aspects of the Matebeleland question and idea ranging from memory, nationalism, identity, search for peace, cyberspace activism, performances, to photography. Just like they have Yoruba studies in Nigeria, here we have a good start in Matebeleland studies.”
"This fine collection of essays is a must-read for scholars interested in the imaginations and reimaginations of Matabeleland in digital spaces. This tour de force is a welcome addition to a growing debate on the future of Matabeleland, Zimbabwe, and African identity politics."
"A compelling book that offers an excellent set of analytic tools to understanding the internet as a transformative and emancipatory tool in identity construction for the subaltern. Drawing from a diverse canon of Marxism, representation, subalternity, and decolonial theories, the book provides an insightful examination of the deleterious historical reality of colonization and how it is challenged and subverted by the medium of the internet in the pursuit of constructing a new reality within the totality of social relations by the marginalized Matebeleland people of Zimbabwe. A must-read!"
"This timely, eclectic, and innovative compendium reimagines Matabeleland and indeed Zimbabwe by grounding this marginalized region within the new territory of cyberspace. This book rethinks the intrinsic meanings of marginality, otherness, and (un)belonging within the geohistorical space of Zimbabwe. It is a competent book that will undoubtedly find interlocutors in diverse fields such as African History with a particular focus on Zimbabwean history as well as media, political, and cultural studies."
"This is a book of courageous scholarly activism couched in the tone in which Edward Said ventilated the coverage and lack thereof Palestinians in the Western media. The victimhood of post-genocide Matabeleland, the misery, and stubbornness of ethnic minorities of Zimbabwe under a genocidal native colonial regime are brought to life in this telling read."