TAZARA Stories: Remembering work on a China-African railway project

  • Wednesday, September 11, 2019 • 4:30 pm
  • Location TBA

TAZARA Stories tells the story of a train through the memories of those who built it. Set in Tanzania, Zambia and China, the film interweaves oral and visual narratives of workers from three nations who found themselves laboring side by side in a massive infrastructure project at the height of the Cold War. Remembering and reliving their youth, the workers take us on a journey in time from the exhilaration of construction through disappointments and derailments to their own hopeful resilience in the face of enduring change.

Jamie Monson is Director of the African Studies Center and Professor of History at Michigan State University. A recognized researcher and scholar, Monson’s efforts have established her as a pioneer in China-Africa development studies. Her book, Africa’s Freedom Railway: How a Chinese Development Project Changed Lives and Livelihoods in Tanzania, explores the TAZARA railway, which was built with Chinese development aid in the 1970s.  Monson’s most recent project is a forthcoming book titled Looking East: Africa’s Historical Engagement with China.  She is also creating a documentary film based on life histories of TAZARA railway workers in Tanzania, Zambia and China.  Monson serves as chairman of the Chinese in Africa/Africans in China Research Network and is currently heading a new global initiative, “Building Trans-regional Connections Among Africa, Asia and Latin America,” that seeks to establish new scholarly paradigms for international studies.

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