Talk and Concert: Postcolonial Sonicities of Madzimbahwe Mbira

Jul 29 2018
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

This two-part program showcases the work of award-winning UC Santa Barbara historian, Mhoze Chikowero, and Tanyaradzwa Tawengwa, a doctoral student at the University of Kentucky, Lexington.

Chikowero discusses the postcolonial politics of the mbira, and its survival in light of crusades by colonizing forces that sought to harness and subvert it. This story of resilience signifies the instrument’s key place in the cosmologies of the Zimbabwe cultures, which wielded it to resist missionary evangelization, and to inspire the armed struggle for self-liberation. In spite of the transgenerational traumas of colonialism, generations of performers have maintained and passed on the art, knowledge, and spiritualities the mbira represents. Tawengwa, who has explored new sonic realms with this ancient instrument, will perform a live mbira concert in the museum’s Davis Courtyard.


Parking available in UCLA Lot 4, 398 Westwood Plaza, directly off Sunset Blvd | $12/day
Rideshare drop-off 305 Royce Drive.

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Striking Iron is a major international traveling exhibition that reveals the history of invention and technical sophistication that led African blacksmiths to transform one of Earth’s most basic natural resources into objects of life-changing utility, empowerment, and astonishing artistry.

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