Panel discussion: UNESCO World Heritage sites in Zimbabwe

22oct5:00 pm6:30 pmPanel discussion: UNESCO World Heritage sites in ZimbabweProtecting Heritage and the Heritage Returned from Colonial Acquisitiveness. Lessons for the global North.Online- Zoom5:00 pm - 6:30 pm OrganiserUNESCO Chair in Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts (RILA), University of GlasgowEvent TypeWebinar & Talks

Event Details

Registration is free, but places are limited. Please visit to book your free place.

Speakers: Tawona Sitholé (UofG), Prof Alison Phipps (UofG) and Stephen Chinhuwo (Great Zimbabwe)


Join us for an afternoon of discussion around UNESCO World Heritage Site Great Zimbabwe near Masvingo. We will be discussing the relevance of the UNESCO designation for the local community and the ways in which UNESCO’s work and research helps to correct colonial assumptions about important sites and civilizations. We will learn from a site that has been a significant place of guarding and disseminating knowledge of people who are now largely displaced. We also expect to be joined by academic and heritage experts and directors from Zimbabwe.

The ruins of Great Zimbabwe – the capital of the Queen of Sheba, according to an age-old legend – are a unique testimony to the Bantu civilization of the Shona between the 11th and 15th centuries. The city, which covers an area of nearly 80 ha, was an important trading centre and was renowned from the Middle Ages onwards.

Great Zimbabwe National Monument is approximately 30 km from Masvingo and located in the lowveld at an altitude of some 1100 m in a sparsely populated region of the Bantu/Shona people. The property, built between 1100 and 1450 AD, extends over almost 800 ha and is divided into three groups: the Hill Ruins, the Great Enclosure and the Valley Ruins.

The site has been legally protected since 1893 and is currently protected under the National Museum & Monuments Act Chapter 25:11 (1976) which provides for the legal protection of the resources within the property.

This event is part of four discussions organised by the UNESCO Chair in Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts. For the full programme, please visit the UNESCO Chair website.


Tawona Sitholé

Tawona Sitholé is Artist in Residence with the UNESCO Chair in Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts, at the University of Glasgow, School of Education. He is a poet, playwright, mbira musician, educator and facilitator. His ancestral family name, Ganyamatope, is a reminder of his heritage, which inspires him to make connections with other people through creativity, and the natural outlook to learn. As co-founder of Seeds of Thought arts group, Tawona’s work involves supporting and facilitating access to the creative arts. Tawona is Poet in Residence for GRAMNet and works in a variety of settings and institutions. As he continues to write, teach and perform, mostly he appreciates his work for the many inspiring people it allows him to meet.

Stephen Chinhuwo

Stephen Chinhuwo works at the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe. He is a tour guide at Great Zimbabwe and the fount of all knowledge where Great Zimbabwe and Zimbabwean heritage is concerned.

Alison Phipps

Alison Phipps holds the UNESCO Chair in Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts at the University of Glasgow where she is also Professor of Languages and Intercultural Studies, and Co-Convener of Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNET). She is Co-Chair of the AHRC GCRF Advisory board and recipient of a number of GCRF grants as both PI and Co I working in Zimbabwe, Gaza, Ghana, Uganda and with refugees in the UK. Most recently she was appointed Co-Director and Co-I for the £20 million UKRI GCRF South South Migration Inequality and Development Hub.

Alison chairs the New Scots Core Group for Refugee Integration in partnership with Scottish Government, COSLA and Scottish Refugee Council; She Co-Chairs AHRC GCRF Advisory Board and she is an Ambassador for the Scottish Refugee Council

She is author of numerous academic books and articles and a regular international keynote speaker and broadcaster, including most recently, Decolonising Multilingualism: Struggles to Decreate, with Multilingual Matters. Her first collection of poetry, Through Wood was published in 2009, with a further collection – The Warriors who do not Fight was published in 2018, with co-author Tawona Sitholé.

In 2018 she was awarded the De Carle Visiting Professorship at Otago University, 2017 she was appointed Adjunct Professor of Hospitality and Tourism at Auckland University of Technology. In 2016 she was appointed ‘Thinker in Residence’ at the EU Hawke Centre at University of South Australia. She was the Inaugural Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Waikato, Aotearoa New Zealand in 2013, and is Adjunct Professor of Tourism. In 2011 she was voted ‘Best College Teacher’ by the student body and received the Universities ‘Teaching Excellence Award’ for a Career Distinguished by Excellence. In 2012 she received an OBE for Services to Education and Intercultural and Interreligious Relations in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. In 2019 she was awarded the Minerva medal by the Royal Society of Philosophy. She is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.



(Thursday) 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm