Dr Lennon Mhishi

Research Summary

I am a Project Researcher on the project Reconnecting “Objects”:Epistemic Plurality and Transformative Practices in and Beyond Museums funded by VW Stiftung. I am an anthropologist whose interdisciplinary work spans interests in Africa and its diasporas, the afterlives of slavery and colonialism, and the approaches to contemporary forms of exploitation, forced labour and human rights in different African countries. I have experience in migration and diaspora, heritage, music, and other arts-based, creative approaches to knowledge making and engagement. I am keen to pursue a research agenda, curatorial and museum practice that centres community-engaged, collaborative, antiracist, and inclusive practice.

For the Reconnecting “Objects” project, I will be collaborating with partners in Oxford (UK), Cape Town (South Africa), Dakar (Senegal), Dschang (Cameroon) and Berlin (Germany) to, among other things, explore colonial collections and to deliver two major exhibitions, opening simultaneously in Dakar and Oxford in 2024. In addition, I will be co-producing written work and other outputs from the research.


Dr Lennon Mishi holds degrees in Anthropology and Sociology from the University of Zimbabwe, Monash University (Australia) and SOAS, University of London. His research in Johannesburg investigated the intersections of identity and consumption that shaped mobilities, aspirations and experiences of South Africa for young Zimbabweans. His doctoral work in London focused on the experiences of music and belonging amongst Zimbabweans, as part of the genealogy of African and Black expressive culture in the UK. He has recently been part of the Antislavery Knowledge Network at the University of Liverpool, working on how creative, art and heritage-based community-led approaches can be utilised in confronting contemporary forms of exploitation. This work has been through collaboration at different stages with partners and communities in Mali, Niger, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.