Club Jambanja: a journey through present day Zimbabwe's country club

This dissertation and practical project is an exploration of a methodology, and of how a methodology might emerge to think about a body of work. Using a body of photographic work that is a visual study of the contemporary identities of Zimbabwe’s Country Clubs, I attempt to create another way of thinking about and understanding visual material, outside of the traditionally constituted photo book and/or exhibition. For the purposes of this study I have chosen to present the photographs as a series of maps that show a process of working the images into a series of interconnected visual arguments, and as such reveal an aspect of visual thinking and intellectual work prior to a final realisation in book or exhibition form. This presentation of 14 maps contains each of the elements of a traditionally written dissertation, however it is not constituted as a series of traditionally defined chapters. There are three forms to the maps presented here - the text ‘map’ (comprised of 3 double-sided pages), the legend and key (1 double-sided page), and the visual map (comprised of 10 double-sided pages with the photographic map and methodology map back-to-back). There were three major methodological processes that arose out of my decision to use mapping as an approach and organising principle for this body of work. First, the continuous movement between an analogue and digital mode of working, as well as the movement back and forth between working with analogue and digital material. Second, the successive creation of additional iterations of the map made for an invaluable layering and reorganising process. And third, the process and movement from mapping to navigating, in conjunction with the aforementioned processes, collectively enabled the mobilisation of my project and constantly refined my thinking, while simultaneously refining and revealing the complexity of these spaces. Through this map-object, I am arguing that images placed in relation give a deeper, richer and more complex understanding of these spaces. The way in which I am able to get the photograph to do this is by its placement, which is informed by a series of repetitions: the repetition of the actual image, the repetition of a subject or usage, and also the repetition of a photographic convention. This dissertation and practical project is about process and the map is a tool to plot the shifting historical and contemporary identities of country clubs in Zimbabwe.
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Development Planning, 2016