Project launch

Project launch

Mhondoro Marauders

© Thandi Loewenson.

November 9, 2023
Project launch
Mhondoro Marauders

A project by Thandi Loewenson feat. fellow marauders Mhoze Chikowero, Shadreck Chirikure, Thandiwe Gula-Ndebele, Thando Mlambo, Tinashe Mushakavanhu and Divya Patel.

Mhondoro Marauders explores questions of what constitutes the “digital” in African Space Programmes; expanding these beyond normative infrastructures and technologies of outer space to include a multitude of practices, portals, sonic tricks and bluffs through which space and time are understood, restructured and reconstituted to emancipatory ends.  

The project unfolds through multiple encounters—productive frictions and generous collaborations—which land in Harare, Mhangura, Mazowe, Watamu and London and travel through sounds, satellites, mediumship and conjuring, interpolations and samples. 

This is fugitive work, born out of necessity and cheekiness, marauding the cloud and airwaves for latent, unspent energy that remains to be ignited from liberatory movements seemingly gone by. This is also spirit work, channelling the figure of the mhondoro—shapeshifting and encoded within a non-Cartesian logic of space and time—a practice which Mhoze Chikowero, of the contributors to this project, identifies as terrifying the colonial imaginary. 

Mhondoro Marauders is conceived and curated by architectural designer/researcher Thandi Loewenson. Thandi hosts the Mhondoro Marauders Show which traverses through Chimurenga music, grime, bira ceremonies, guerilla communications, Earth Stations and more to explore the “technics” (Simone, 2021), manoeuvres, thieving and whisper networks through which sound extends the project of African liberation into atmospheric registers; spaces that are both intimately connected to land whilst simultaneously in and above the earth too. How does engaging these sites and strategies within the rubric of the “digital” make our worlds larger, now?

The project includes a number of travelling companions, fellow marauders who extend these ideas into further incisive, expansive realms. These include a rehearsal for a mixtape: a dialogue and sonic collaboration between multidisciplinary creative Thando Mlambo, multidisciplinary storyteller Thandiwe Gula-Ndebele and Thandi Loewenson. Thando, Thandiwe and Thandi’s collaboration culminated (for now) in a DJ set and live performance by Thando Mlambo held at Mbare Art Space, Harare, on October 21, 2023. 

The project further includes three original commissions with contributions dropping over the coming weeks from: scholar of African Self-Liberation, historian and organic farmer Mhoze Chikowero; archeologist, scholar of ancient materials and technologies, and supporter of graduates and ghetto entrepreneurs, Shadreck Chirikure; and writer, critic and agitator of the strictures that separate the poetic and the theoretical, Tinashe Mushakavanhu.

Research assistance and platform design are by the one called Divya Patel. 

Mhondoro Marauders has been supported by the Canadian Centre for Architecture “Digital Now” Mellon fellowship and Rapid Response Impact Funding from the Royal College of Art.

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Mhondoro Marauders
November 9, 2023

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