Media as a Threat and Subordinate of Cultural Heritage in Zimbabwe

Media as a Threat and Subordinate of Cultural Heritage in Zimbabwe

Lazarus Sauti
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5840-8.ch005
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The major focus of this chapter is to discover how the media can be a subordinate of cultural heritage and at the same time pose a threat to cultural heritage. It explores the link between media and cultural heritage. Attention is also on the use of the internet in the promotion of cultural heritage in Zimbabwe. Media use of internet permit cultural heritage of different groups to be uploaded, downloaded, and accessed by other people around the world, presenting opportunities for cultural exchange.
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Unpacking Cultural Heritage

Although culture is an ordinary word, it is one of the most sneaky, litigious and ubiquitous concepts across disciplines. Many scholars have tried to unpack this term, but the truth is that it is difficult to define culture. In trying to unpack the concept of culture, Kwon & Kwon (2013), outlines it as a multifaceted whole and believes that it includes beliefs, art, law, morals, over and above customs.

Heritage, just like culture, is one term that is also used in some countries as a reference point of identity and unity. Every nation has a shared identity grounded in past events as well as elements which are considered noteworthy to it. This shared identity consists of natural and cultural environment (Nocca, 2017) and it is both tangible and intangible (Lenzerini, 2011). Tangible cultural heritage subsists in substance form and examples include buildings, sculpture, cultural landscapes, shrines and cemeteries while intangible cultural heritage takes account of rites, festive occasions, oral customs and social practices and expertise involved in making traditional crafts, performing arts, knowledge along with some practices concerning nature.

As for ecological heritage, it emanates from the environment and examples include caves, rivers, lakes, hills, mountains and cataracts conserved for the specific objectives of studying, admiring and enjoying the scenery which they provide while cultural heritages comprise important materials such as poems, stories, customs, fashions, songs, music, designs, and ceremonies of a place – significant expressions of a culture and/or monuments related to culture such as museums, religious buildings, ancient structures and sites.

Zimbabwe is a country gifted with a lot of cultural heritages sourced from its multicultural communities. These heritages are transmitted through the words of mouth. Village heads, kings, chiefs, aged/older men and women in the country serve as repositories and custodians of their oral traditions, which include proverbs, anecdotes, axioms, lullabies, poems, mysteries, charms and praise. Oral tradition is also proving to be useful instrument to librarians, archivists, media practitioners and archaeologists in locating and identifying cultural heritage sites for preservation.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Cultural Imperialism: The tradition of endorsing a more influential culture over a least known one. It is a result of the imbalance in international flow of media products between developed and developing nations.

Museum: A building and/or place where works of art and other objects of permanent value are kept and displayed.

Cultural Heritage: The legacy of indefinable aspects of a society that are inherited from past generations.

Natural Heritage: All varieties of heritage that can be regarded as innate, real and came into being without the human response. Examples of natural heritage include plants, landscapes, rivers, forests, natural falls, caves, and animals.

Culture: Attributes and familiarity of a particular group of people, encircling language, religious conviction, marriage, communal routines, songs, arts, and a million other things.

Archive: A buildup of records of historical significance or the physical place these historical records are located.

Preservation: The fortification of literary and/or artistic goods to avoid loss of informational content.

Curation: The process of collecting, classifying, analyzing, and presenting content related to a particular subject matter.

Heritage: The whole lot people gain from their predecessors. It is also an indispensable piece of the present as well as the future and it consists of habits or customs, languages, as well as physical structures of historical importance.

Globalization: The amplification of global social affairs which connect far-away regions in a way that local events are shaped by affairs taking place many kilometers away.

Mass Media: The primary means of providing information—whether spoken, written, or broadcast—about political, economic, social, technological, legal, environmental, and gender issues to the public. Examples of mass media include newspapers, magazines, books, advertising, radio, movies, television, and the internet.

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