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The Mobile WorkshopThe Tsetse Fly and African Knowledge Production$
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Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780262535021

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262535021.001.0001

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Knowing a Fly

Knowing a Fly

(p.67) 3 Knowing a Fly
The Mobile Workshop

Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga

The MIT Press

This chapter examines what one government official called “an intelligence system of tsetse”—a thoroughly intrusive infrastructure and procedure of knowing this chipukanana (principally its mobilities) in the most complete way possible. This anthropomorphic formula for intrusive knowing sought “to live and breathe and think with” mhesvi; to do so entailed “a lifetime of affectionate study.” This meant placing a peripatetic chipukanana under surveillance, to know how much time it spent in different parts of the habitat at different times of the year; how much time it spent feeding, sleeping, or simply in vigilant mode, waiting to pounce on anything that moved. Maps—of where it slept, bred, roamed, ate; its boundaries; strong points and weak points—were essential to successful operations against it.

Keywords:   tsetse fly, intelligence system, chipukanana, mobilities, mhesvi

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