The workshop ‘Writing Repression’ is part of the initiative ‘Literatures of Change: Culture and Politics in Southern Africa’ funded by the Nordic research councils. It will bring together researchers, authors and activists for a conversation about literary responses to repression in Zimbabwe.
Bringing together that project with researchers who work on expatriate writing and others who focus on the political context in Zimbabwe, this workshop will explore forms of writing in and against a repressive society. It will study the silencing of dissenting voices and strategies to circumvent censorship. Casting the net wider than the latest news reports, the workshop will place those practices in their context by considering how these strategies have evolved and depart from those of the UDI era when the white settler regime sought to repress dissent. Participants are invited to consider the ways in which various genres are deployed to overcome obstacles to expression. ‘Writing Repression’ thus aims to study repression both as a theme engaged with by writers and as a phenomenon which constrains literary voices and which is negotiated through choices of thematic focus, genre and publishing strategy.