Zimbabwe’s Book Cafe 12:00, 2007 (Ref: AF07618)


Zimbabwe is a country in crisis and for a new generation astronomical inflation, empty supermarket shelves, fuel queues, power cuts, Aids, censorship and political violence have become the norm. But the Book Cafe is one of the places that make the capital city Harare so addictive, in spite of all the problems. An environment of tight radio and TV control means that in Harare popular culture happens live. The modest-looking Book Cafe has just quietly turned 10 years old. In 1997, a “lefty” bookshop called Grassroots Books was transformed into a cultural venue, with book launches, discussion nights and performances. Over the years, the cafe has become the epicentre of Harare’s alternative culture. Six nights a week an audience gathers here, which is as varied as the city itself. The events each night vary greatly, but as we see in this film they have one thing in common: at the Book Café there is no censorship.