Since 1938 hundreds of young Swiss men and women have moved to Zimbabwe, the former (Southern) Rhodesia, on behalf of the Catholic mission. Their experiences and accomplishments have been closely followed and supported by the people at home. In doing so, the missionaries have created a relationship over a long distance that has shaped the history of Switzerland and of Zimbabwe in a way that goes far beyond purely religious matters.
These entangled histories are the focus of a research project at the Department of Contemporary History at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland.
From the heart of Switzerland
The research topic for the project is the Swiss Catholic mission movement and its activities in Southern Africa..
On colonialism and decolonisation
Drawing on the latest research and approaches in global and entangled history, it aims to enquire into the role of Switzerland and Swiss actors in the context of colonialism and decolonisation.
In two subprojects
The time from the interwar period to the formal independence of Zimbabwe will be investigated in two
With insights and background information
The ‘Open access’ category provides access to the publications and insights on the research process.