Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
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Living Heritage(s) And Decoloniality: A Situational Analysis of the Great Zimbabwe World Heritage Site

Authors: Revai Boterere

Abstract:

The study explores the decolonial theory in the context of engaging with living heritages in the formally colonised through the case of the Great Zimbabwe World Heritage Site. It followed a qualitative research paradigm in the form of a situational analysis, with both primary and secondary data sources examined to enable an analysis focusing on the decolonial discourse and practice at Great Zimbabwe. Unlike the dominant model (in terms of interpretation) used at Great Zimbabwe, that of Thomas Huffman, which views the site as ruins, new literature (Ashton Sinamai, 2017, 2020; Webber Ndoro, 1994, 2005; ShadreckChirikure 2008, etal 2016; Njabulo Chipanguraetal 2019) on zimbabwe culture, Great Zimbabwe World Heritage Site is a living site, a shrine, and a cultural landscape. it argue that the new literature, perhaps decolonial, remain in the hands of academics and not synthesised down to the interpreters. This is a problem, and it needs to be addressed. There is need of a pragmatic thrust to decolonisation at the Great Zimbabwe World Heritage Site. Though there are efforts to involve local communities at Great Zimbabwe as a decolonial approach, there is need to reorder the current system of producing knowledge in place. This paper will unpack these debates of decoloniality between what Huffman’s propositions of the interpretation of Great Zimbabwe vis-a-vis the new decolonial school of thought by local researchers.

Keywords: cultural tourism, decoloniality, living heritage, local community

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