[FoME] Invitation to join the TAZARA-project

Radiobridge at aol.com Radiobridge at aol.com
Di Feb 15 08:48:23 CET 2011

This is a call from Harare / Zimbabwe  by Klaus Jürgen Schmidt, a resident 
German storyteller who would like you to  have a look at his recent project, 
which may need advice and ideas how to turn  it into a multimedia-package 
for an international audience.
TAZARA ... a  journey by rail through world history

What drives  TAZARA? David Shields may provide an answer in his book 
"Reality Hunger". He  takes up the notion that uneasiness can be observed when it 
comes to the kind of  realistic narration à la Jonathan Franzen. As part of 
his essayist theory of  literature, Shields discusses the sampling-method, 
in other words the use of  culturally pre-formed material, as Adorno called 
it. Well, that is more or less,  what I am trying to do, not forgetting 
thrill and fun. I juggle around with  authentic quotes by real VIPs of different 
trades and of different times. In  fact, such traceable (and clearly 
indicated) quotes represent a major part of  the text (sampling-method).
As the pointsman of a mysterious  railway-network which leads through space 
and time, I involve these VIPs, but  also their co-travellers, in a 
fictitious debate about the baggage they left  along the tracks for us to live 
with. Thus, I present world-history on rails,  which once helped to conquer the 
world; and as it turns out, it differs from  what you read in history books —
 or, one could argue — it connects acts and  events without detour, thanks 
to virtual railway-tunnels which my controller has  invented ... 
As one of the virtual VIPs on the  train, Doris Lessing is summarizing:
... „It occurs to me that the  transformation of this railway-express into 
a rolling stage, then into an  electronic book, the offer to check arguments 
through own research on Internet  and finally using formats of 
TV-talk-shows, all this reminds me of the  flickering of our nerve-system which lets us 
feel real pain and real joy but can  also create the dream-work of a virtual 
world.“ ...
The complete project does already exist  as an interactive multimedia-offer 
on the Internet:
_www.radiobridge.net/tazaraintro.html_ (http://www.radiobridge.net/tazarai
Despite the fact, that it is accessible  in a German language version only, 
the 88 chapters are visited and re-visited  daily by six to twenty readers 
from all over the world. According to my  online-monitor, new visitors come 
mostly via GOOGLE-searches, and linger once  they start to read; and they 
quite often return. It seems to be a none-linear  kind of reading they prefer, 
jumping back and forth between chapters. 
Although my mother tongue is not  English I started to transfer the 
560-page-script into this language,  acknowledging that someone professional would 
have to make the final touches.  Introduction and 34 chapters are finished 
at my pace; they could be submitted  for perusal and, hopefully, feedback. 
Landscaping of the script in its final  form would be necessary, I think, 
since original quotes, fictitious talk,  reflections of the controller, and 
contributions of the "knowing voices", using  the public address system of the 
virtual TAZARA-Express, need to be  distinguishable.
Apart from getting the project into a  print-version, there could be as 
well scenes performed on real trains or  railway-stations in Europe and/or in 
Africa for a real audience involving actors  of a theatre-group and recorded 
for use in an online-documentary or in a movie  ...
I would very much appreciate a working  relationship that will provide 
guidance and steam for the litera-tour of my  TAZARA-express. 
Greetings out of Africa 
Klaus  Jürgen Schmidt


TAZARA ... a voyage by rail through  world-history
Pointsman: Klaus Jürgen Schmidt  © KJS /  2011

ATTENTION on the platform!

We are on the  tracks of those who shaped the baggage of our time:

Who caused the  worldwide crash of banks?
Who benefits from global dissolution of national  sovereignty?
What hides behind the idea to tackle world-hunger with  gene-manipulation?
What is China doing in Africa?
What is the NATO doing  in Eastern Europe?
Who is the „godfather“ behind Barack  Obama?

Answers to these and many more questions will be given  aboard my African 


In every big railway-network you will find uncoupled  carriages, their load 
missing. One task of the railway’s pointsman is to trace  such uncoupled 
carriages and to guide them back via properly pointed  rail-switches into an 
orderly line-up.

Almost every text you are  going to read is based on authentic quotes found 
during a voyage through the  world of published word — in books, in 
journals, on the World Wide Web — there,  however, uncoupled from the course of 
time. Such quotes have been recovered and  brought in line in a meaningful new 
way by me, the pointsman — and you can trace  all quotes online. (List of 
original sources will be provided.)

On  the rolling stage of the TAZARA-Express, reconstruction of a historic 
timetable  takes place as framed by global pointsmen whilst playing their  


Dag Hammarskjöld is reading from his last will, and he  will give away 

Bill Gates will be kidnapped and will  learn what his „Creative Capitalism“
 means to Africans.

Kofi Annan  does not wish to become the „Uncle Tom“ of Bill Gates.

A German  Albert-Schweitzer-School grows out of an African 

A mountain, rich in ore, tells the story of how it was dragged  from Africa 
to Asia.

Inventors and dealers of weapons are  confronted during a summit meeting.

Germany’s famous  fiction-writer, Karl May, is going to report about his 
early strive for peace in  Sudan and in South Africa.

Nobel-Laureate, Doris Lessing, will  confess to read, occasionally, Wilbur 

John Le Carré helps to  research the thriller-mission of an U.S.-diplomat 
in Zimbabwe.

Leo  Trotsky quarrels with John D. Rockefeller Jr. about war and its  

Train-robber Ronnie Biggs accepts to write the scenario of  the great 

Cecil Rhodes wants to be resurrected as  Henry Kissinger.

Germany’s maverick-politician, Joschka Fischer, is  unmasking the „
godfather“ behind Barack Obama.

Prince Charles will  wag his „green finger“.


TAZARA is  the name of the famous East African railway connecting the 
copper-mines of  Zambia with Tanzania’s sea-port of Dar-es-Salaam. For 
passengers, it is a  journey of almost three days and two nights made possible by China
’s first  attempt to involve her in a massive development project on the 
African  continent. 

In April 2007, a TAZARA-Express is heading from East to  West into Africa. 
It passes points seemingly without control, changing its  direction time and 
again — almost like a runaway train. However, control rests  with a 
mysterious stage-manager who is able to direct action through handy men  within the 
train’s coaches. Steered as if by ghostly hands, the train is being  
manoeuvred through time and space, even travelling on far away rail-networks,  
thereby touching stations where raw products and goods are waiting — as well as 
 ideologies and claims to power — to be loaded or unloaded by iron horses 
of  their time.

Whilst driving through tunnels, an ominous saloon-coach  of this spooky 
train receives as visitors personalities of universal history who  — sometimes 
heckled by co-travellers of the TAZARA — are made to involve  themselves in 
a debate of their conduct as actors in business or politics,  having coined 
in one way or another the fate of people in Africa and beyond in  the past 
or in the future.

Among co-travellers occupying  TAZARA-compartments of the first class there 
— four Zambian  businesswomen returning from a shopping spree in Dubai, 
their goods rolling with  them in a TAZARA-container
— a travelling tailor from Hong Kong who used to  fit African politicians 
with affordable diplomatic suits, now scouting for  African opportunities on 
behalf of a Mr. Moon
— a messenger on his way with  valuable vintage-watches to launder money 
for dealers in drugs and weapons
—  a German entrepreneur who is convinced that he will construct another 
railway  line through Africa

None of them has a clue that the mysterious  stage-manager has already 
determined at what type of rail siding their journey  will come to an end.

The Pointsman, Harare, 15. February 2009 

Klaus Jürgen Schmidt
_radiobridge at aol.com_ (mailto:radiobridge at aol.com) 
_www.radiobridge.net_ (http://www.radiobridge.net)  
ADDRESS in AFRICA (November -  April)
98 Ridgeway North
Harare / Zimbabwe
phone:  +263-4-882483 
ADRESSE in EUROPA (May -  October)
Alter Schulweg 5
31609 Balge
Tel.:  +49-(0)5022-943150 
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