This project originates from the unusual Basel-based archive of a Southern African journalist, Ruth Weiss which lends itself as a starting point to revisit Lusaka’s history of the 1970s as a political, cultural, media and intellectual metropole for the whole of Southern Africa.
The project aims at
- Repatriating from Basel to a national Zambian institution parts of the digital archive of Ruth Weiss in order to stimulate research in Zambia itself;
- conducting two workshops (Lusaka & Basel) with historians, media specialists and anthropologists on the proposed topic of urban culture, politics and media in Lusaka in the 1970s;
- critically revisiting previous academic work on Lusaka as a city and asking new questions about the networks and spatiality of elites, ordinary people and the large ex-pat/refugee and liberation movement populations in that metropole at a particular historical moment of crucial relevance to the whole of southern Africa.
The Lusaka National Museum and the Department of History of the University of Zambia are both involved in public history and research projects concerning the themes, period and archives under review. The project allows the Swiss and Zambian partners to establish a new network of sustainable research projects.