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Zimbabwe's New Diaspora
Displacement and the Cultural Politics of Survival
Edited by JoAnn McGregor and Ranka Primorac
268 pages, 3 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-84545-658-0 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (June 2010)
eISBN 978-1-84545-841-6 eBook
“The ambiguity in [this] text is a breath of fresh air and the harbinger of something new in a world seemingly dominated by the imperatives of nation, ‘race’, ‘ethnicity’, and heteronormativity.” · JRAI
"Anyone who has witnessed the plight and sense of desperation of Zimbabweans who have fled Robert Mugabe’s violent regime of terror, and its consequent economic meltdown, should read this book. Its different chapters inform, document, analyse and evoke with great sensitivity and conceptual clarity some of the legal, economic and emotional struggles and predicaments Zimbabweans in the diaspora face. The outcome is a diverse and complex picture of this new African diaspora's dispersal within Southern Africa and the West. The book dispels the view that modern diasporas are no longer sites of suffering, exclusion and discrimination, or that their members no longer yearn for a lost homeland. Impressively well informed and up to date both factually and theoretically, the book should be read by all those interested in the new African diasporas. It will undoubtedly constitute a baseline for any future research on the Zimbabwean diaspora." · Pnina Werbner, Keele University
"The papers in this volume cast new light on Zimbabwe's difficult recent history through the experiences of the large numbers of Zimbabweans now settled across the world, mostly in South Africa and Britain. Especially in South Africa, building popular support for the Zimbabwean diaspora is an urgent political challenge, and one for which this book provides plenty of resources. At the same time it offers a creative and intelligent contribution to the wider academic literature on diasporas." · Prof. Jennifer Robinson, UCL
“The volume is to be welcomed as a considerable addition to the growing literature on African migrants and refugees in Europe and elsewhere. It brings together research conducted by a range of scholars from different disciplines and of different backgrounds, including many from Zimbabwe itself…Comparing the Zimbabwean 'diaspora' in depth in two important and different contexts (the UK and South Africa) gives it significant added value.” · Prof. Ralph Grillo, University of Sussex
“This rich collection of case studies reveals the complexities of Zimbabweaness and diasporic identities and demonstrates how these particular diasporas are inserted into layers of interpretative schemes both in South Africa and UK. This focus on historical intertwining and the layers of interpretation that it creates, is an important contribution to Diaspora studies and studies on transnationalism that tend merely to explore contemporary issues of exclusion/marginalization or ‘political opportunity structures’ in the host society.” · Prof. Simon Turner, Danish Institute for International Studies
Zimbabwe’s crisis since 2000 has produced a dramatic global scattering of people. This volume investigates this enforced dispersal, and the processes shaping the emergence of a new "diaspora" of Zimbabweans abroad, focusing on the most important concentrations in South Africa and in Britain. Not only is this the first book on the diasporic connections created through Zimbabwe’s multifaceted crisis, but it also offers an innovative combination of research on the political, economic, cultural and legal dimensions of movement across borders and survival thereafter with a discussion of shifting identities and cultural change. It highlights the ways in which new movements are connected to older flows, and how displacements across physical borders are intimately linked to the reworking of conceptual borders in both sending and receiving states. The book is essential reading for researchers/students in migration, diaspora and postcolonial literary studies.
JoAnn McGregor is Lecturer at University College London. She has published on Zimbabwean politics, society and history, and on forced migration. She is co-author of Violence and Memory: One Hundred Years in the Dark Forests of Matabeleland, Zimbabwe (2000) and co-edits the Journal of Southern African Studies.
Ranka Primorac is Teaching Fellow at University of Southampton. She has published on Zimbabwean literature and culture, and is author of The Place of Tears: The Novel and Politics in Modern Zimbabwe and co-editor of Zimbabwe in Crisis: The International Response and the Space of Silence (2007).