A dynamic literary landscape that recognizes African canonical writers while discovering new voices across the field of humanities and social sciences.
To create a regular publishing platform for creative writers, critics and academics in Africa and the Diaspora
- To bridge the gap between cultural workers, public intellectuals and academics
- Launchpad for emerging creatives, critics and early career scholars
- Create a point of convergence for both emerging and seasoned critical minds
- Establish a reputable publication with peer-reviewed material widely recognised in the higher education sector
The origins of the publishing industry in South Africa date as far back as the early 19th century, when the Scottish missionaries introduced the Lovedale Printing Press in Alice, Eastern Cape. The establishment of the Press was in line with the European civilizing mission, but produced some of the leading African intellectuals who became the proponents of African nationalist ideals. In the late 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, many of these African intellectuals published their works in newspapers such as Imvo Zabantsundu, Izwi lamantu, Ilanga LaseNatal, etc. Magazines like Zonk, Drum and Classic magazine became the prominent literary platforms towards the middle of the 20th century.
In recent years, magazines and journals like Staffrider, Chimurenga, Botsotso, New Contrast, etc. continued with the tradition, albeit it inconsistently and with sporadic publication periods. Sadly, some of these magazines like Words etc. and Baobab Literary Journal, have died natural deaths due to either failure in business or lack of funding. Lack of funds is a perennial factor that accounts for the early demise of numerous initiatives of this kind before. To circumvent this, many journals have resorted to digital publishing, which has seen the emergence of online journals such as Brittle Paper, Johannesburg Review of Books and The Kalahari Review. The rise of electronic publishing platforms has opened up the playing field and contributed immensely to the resurgence of both creative and critical writing in popular media.
Imbiza enters this space fully aware of the endemic risks in the landscape and also with the ambition of overcoming some of the impediments that saw the demise of its predecessors. The journal intends to adopt a combination of various models in its business approach. The content of the journal will include new literary production in the form of poetry, prose (short stories and excerpts from novels) and book reviews, critical pieces on art, comics, gender and politics, as well as academic writing in the form of peer-reviewed essays. The journal’s unique contribution to knowledge creation is its inclusivity, wherein it becomes a point of convergence for both the creative and the critical aspects of cultural production. It will offer publishing space for academic articles and have them accessible to the reading public. It will be distributed through community based structures, higher education institutions and big chain retailers.