Institutional

Last updated: 16 november, 2009 - 16:01 GMT

Zimbabwe confrontation

Petina Gappah (Credit: Bathsheba Okwenje)

Petina Gappah, a young Zimbabwean who currently works in Switzerland as a lawyer recently published her first collection of short stories, An Elegy for Easterly.

The Strand interviewed her in April 2009 as part of their quest to find new writing talent from around the world.

The programme team were taken by the quality of her writing and for the playful insights she offered into the lives of ordinary people living in Mugabe's Zimbabwe.

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Her stories range widely in subject-matter, from a naive Zimbabwean diplomat who falls for a money-making scam, to a furniture-maker forced out of retirement by inflation who turns to building coffins.

Each of the 13 stories contributes to a different image of a country that is too often stereotyped by newspaper headlines.

Petina Gappah has also been short-listed for this year's click Guardian first book award.

Her interview inspired filmmaker Nikita Diakur to help create a new television campaign for BBC World Service. Watch the promotion below.

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The Strand spoke to Nikita Diakur about his inspiration and how you create art in response to sound. Listen to the interview on click i-Player or you can watch a short film on his inspiration below.

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