Heritage in Zambian fashion design: an IPA approach

Mutambo, Nkumbu (2021) Heritage in Zambian fashion design: an IPA approach. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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This study examines the meaning and role of heritage in Zambian fashion design. As a term commonly used in reference to things ranging from national monuments to personal legacies, heritage generally encapsulates the varied social implications and uses of the past. As such, it is a phenomenon shaped by and engaged with by a wide range of social actants. However, popular discourses which centre on expert knowledge and limited notions of what qualifies as heritage continue to influence realms of practice and theory. Therefore, a range of practices, experiences and things have been placed on the peripheries or completely discounted. Nevertheless, by drawing on the work of critical heritage theorists who offer broader frameworks of understanding the term, it is possible to engage in an examination of practices and perspectives which fall outside of the established bounds. For instance, it is possible to investigate populist engagement with heritage like those present in different quadrants of the creative and cultural sphere. Therefore, this study is focused on understanding the particular dimensions of meaningfulness and utility that heritage has in the fashion design practices related to the Zambian context. Consequently, the perspectives and lived experiences of Zambian designers who are either based in or from the country are examined. Adopting an Interpretive phenomenological analysis approach, this study is directed towards centring the voices of participants and understanding their views of heritage in relation to their creative practice. As such, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 participants. Finally, the findings of this study suggest that for designers from the Zambian context, conceptions of heritage are characterised by a complex interplay of communal and personal histories and identities. Furthermore, though materials and materiality do have relevance as part of the experience of embodying various cultural systems of meaning, they are not constitutive of heritage itself. These findings contribute to knowledge about fashion in general by providing a nuanced example of design practices that occur at the confluence of heritage and fashion. Additionally, the findings also expand knowledge about Zambian culture and how it is impacted by design professionals.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: design, African fashion, interpretive phenomenological analysis national identity, African design
Subjects: W200 Design studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Design
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2022 14:37
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2022 14:45
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/50385

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