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Remaking Mutirikwi: Landscape, Water & Belonging in Southern Zimbabwe. By Joost Fontein. James Currey, Suffolk, 2015, 365 pp. ISBN 9781847011121. US$ 80.00 (Hardcover).

Remaking Mutirikwi: Landscape, Water & Belonging in Southern Zimbabwe. By Joost Fontein. James... Book Review In recent years, archaeologists have reengaged people, landscapes, and objects to better understand the deep resonances of the past in contemporary times. As Joost Fontein frames it in Remaking Mutirikwi, in Africa there is a need to refocus on precolonial histories and the continuities through which "the ruptures of colonialism and postcolonialism gain traction and make sense" in the present (p. 7). Such a project requires rethinking matter, temporality, and meaning in ways that elevate, rather than subdue, communities' experiences and expressions. This kind of practice mediates the popular thread of exclusive object-centered and -oriented scholarship. Fontein's concern is that to emphasize matter to the detriment of the subjectivities and historical consciousness of people in Africa and elsewhere can and does frequently lead to "depoliticized and ahistorical narratives" (p. 8). Instead, the author argues in a convincing way that experience and matter should be "imbricated": "Materiality matters not just for History with a capital H, but for historiography" (p. 8). In the case of the Mutirikwi vicinity in southeastern Zimbabwe, Fontein unifies practical and political approaches that explore landscapes and water as indexes of human power. Fontein segments his volume into two primary parts, but reverses http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of African Archaeology Brill

Remaking Mutirikwi: Landscape, Water & Belonging in Southern Zimbabwe. By Joost Fontein. James Currey, Suffolk, 2015, 365 pp. ISBN 9781847011121. US$ 80.00 (Hardcover).

Journal of African Archaeology , Volume 14 (1): 103 – Nov 1, 2016

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2016 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1612-1651
eISSN
2191-5784
DOI
10.3213/2191-5784-10286
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Book Review In recent years, archaeologists have reengaged people, landscapes, and objects to better understand the deep resonances of the past in contemporary times. As Joost Fontein frames it in Remaking Mutirikwi, in Africa there is a need to refocus on precolonial histories and the continuities through which "the ruptures of colonialism and postcolonialism gain traction and make sense" in the present (p. 7). Such a project requires rethinking matter, temporality, and meaning in ways that elevate, rather than subdue, communities' experiences and expressions. This kind of practice mediates the popular thread of exclusive object-centered and -oriented scholarship. Fontein's concern is that to emphasize matter to the detriment of the subjectivities and historical consciousness of people in Africa and elsewhere can and does frequently lead to "depoliticized and ahistorical narratives" (p. 8). Instead, the author argues in a convincing way that experience and matter should be "imbricated": "Materiality matters not just for History with a capital H, but for historiography" (p. 8). In the case of the Mutirikwi vicinity in southeastern Zimbabwe, Fontein unifies practical and political approaches that explore landscapes and water as indexes of human power. Fontein segments his volume into two primary parts, but reverses

Journal

Journal of African ArchaeologyBrill

Published: Nov 1, 2016

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