Street art to promote representation and epistemic justice among marginalized rural Zimbabwean youth

Faith Mkwananzi, Melis Cin (PI-Lancaster University), Tendayi Marovah (Midlands State University), Batonga Community Museum (Zimbabwe), and Basilwizi Trust (Zimbabwe)  

Funder: Changing the Story, University of Leeds (CTS grant number AH/R005354/1)

Project Description 

The project was conducted in rural Binga, a significantly underdeveloped rural district in Zimbabwe lying on the fringes of the Zambezi River along the Kariba dam on the western border with Zambia. The project sought to document narratives of youth in the district through participatory street art with the aim of encouraging social cohesion, making their experiences and knowledge visible, and contributing to epistemic justice. Another objective was to generate a democratic space by giving the youth an opportunity to tell their own stories. The aims were to i) voice the aspirations of the marginalised youth to address the social powerlessness; ii) identify how youth and CSOs can work together to address social cohesion and epistemic injustices, iii) bring the issues of marginalised youth to the attention of various stakeholders, and to iv) discuss the role of participatory arts as an intercultural learning tool for deconstructing the bias against marginalised groups.


The project used graffiti-on-board because of the compatibility of the method to the context. The project was divided into two phases. The first strand focused on the creative process of making the graffiti artefacts that was a build-up from a series of activities, and the second strand was a multi-city exhibition of the artefacts.

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