Arts & Science news has interviewed QTRL 2021-22 graduate research assistant and SDS doctoral candidate Chido Muchemwa about her grand prize win in the 2022 Bridge Prize for her short story, If It Wasn’t for the Nights. She spoke about her writing, her work with the Bonham Centre’s Queer and Trans Research Lab (QTRL), and her doctoral research.
“As she continues her work, Muchemwa is continually inspired by the network of researchers she’s met at the QTRL.
“Everyone works on very different projects, but everyone is so interested in community,” she says. “And the QTRL isn’t about just academics, it’s also people working in direct-facing community engagement projects. It helps to ground my research, so it isn’t just about what’s going to make the best argument in my dissertation, but also, how do I make this work have real world impact?”
And it’s wanting to make a tangible impact that also drives Muchemwa to write queer stories like If It Wasn’t for the Nights.
“At this stage, my doctoral research is still just me and my supervisor and my committee. But with my stories, those can go out into the world. And we can start to build a collection of narratives about queerness in Zimbabwe that are not just about hate.””