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ESARBICA Journal: Journal of the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives

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Minorities and the Zimbabwean archival endeavour

Samuel Chabikwa

Abstract


Societal archives are a selective memory and the voices of the socio-political and economic elites abound in the archive at the expense of the other voices. This is so because of the nexus between political power and archives. In the case of the National Archives of Zimbabwe (NAZ), public sector records and archives predominate. Minorities and the underrepresented are evident by their “silences” and “absences” from the archive. Evidence from an interview, document analysis and review of related literature forms the thrust of this paper. The argument presented is that the appraisal and selection of records by NAZ needs to change as well as its collection development policy to incorporate private archives and related regional and local archives. Zimbabwe needs a transformational discourse as well as research agenda to facilitate the documentation of the underrepresented and minority groups from various sectors of society. Collaborative efforts by NAZ and groups of the marginalised should lay the foundation for achieving integrated societal memory, which will address the imbalances and discontents in the mainstream archival endeavour.




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