Center of History and Cultural Anthropology
Institute for African Studies of The Russian Academy of Sciences
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24 August - 14 September 2018 Field research in Tanzania

From 24 of August till 14 of September senior research fellow Anastasia A. Banshchikova and junior research fellow Oxana V. Ivanchenko conducted a field research in Tanzania, supported by Russian Scientific Foundation (project №18-18-00454 "Historical Memory as the Evolutional Factor of Socio-Political Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa and Mesoamerica"). The study focused on the historical memory about Arab slave trade in the 19 century and contemporary relations between Tanzanians and Arabs living in the country.

During the field research about 90 interviews were conducted with the citizens of the historical sites, related to slave trade, such as Bagamoyo (including Kaole), Zanzibar Island (Zanzibar city and village Nungwi on the north), and Dar es Salam (relevant as mixed urbanized community, showing "neutral" attitude to the subject). Both historical memory about slave trade and nowadays relations between Tanzanians and Arabs were under consideration: respondents were asked about any tension or negative feelings towards Arabs related to these tragic events. The answers differed in the locations. In Dar es Salam people showed very good knowledge about 19 century slave trade (probably due to better school education), as well as high level of tolerance towards Arabs. Bagamoyo and Kaole demonstrated lower level of historical knowledge combined with much lower level of tolerance (sometimes people openly confessed to the hatred towards Arabs). In Zanzibar most respondents did not know much about slave trade and obviously were less interested in the topic as a whole. The issue of tolerance and relations with Arabs in Zanzibar is much more sensitive and requires careful consideration due to the fact, that the sultanate used to be the part of the Islamic community and Arab world. Results of the field research will be thoroughly examined in ongoing publications.