Webinar Series "Intimate Archives"
Session 12: Archives of Liberation (October 13, 3 PM SAST)
What new histories of liberation are being written beyond state archives? What new stories can be told through oral histories and photography?
Histories of liberation have been one of the most vibrant terrains of African historiography. In the last few years, we have been witnessing a productive re-reading of the liberation archive. On the one hand, historians have been more consistently resorting to methodologies, such as oral histories, that have open up our understanding of the liberation moment to include previously marginalized historical actors, particularly women. On the other hand, this archive has been creatively engaged not only by historians, but also by artists, filmmakers, photographers, and the public at large. This new material pushes us to think of liberation in different manners, by incorporating, for instance, notions of gender, desire, and affect.
This panel invites a conversation on these shifting archives of liberation, by inviting the contribution of two researchers who have actively engaged the history of this moment, and its aftermath, in Mozambique. The panel will address their fascinating new work in archival research, oral history, and photography, and will question how that encourages us to think of this history, and its archive, differently.
Maria Paula Meneses is a Principal researcher at the Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra. A Mozambican scholar, she attended secondary school in Maputo, and later on did her graduate studies in the former USSR (MA in History from Leningrad State University in 1987) and obtained her PhD in the USA, by Rutgers University (1999). Her research focus on the political history and socio-legal complexity of southern Africa, especially in Mozambique, Angola and South Africa. Her work has been published in journals, books and reports in several countries, including Mozambique, Spain, Portugal, Senegal, United States, England, Germany, Colombia, amid others. Recent publications include, co-edited with Boaventura de Sousa Santos, "Knowledges Born in the Struggle: Constructing the Epistemologies of the Global South" (Routledge, 2019), integrating contributions of scholars from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe, as well as Meneses, Maria Paula (2019), “Os Saberes Feiticeiros em Moçambique: Realidades materiais, experiências espirituais” (Coimbra: Almedina).
Amilton Neves is a documentary photographer and visual anthropologist. He holds a BA in Anthropology from Eduardo Mondlane University, in Mozambique, and is currently pursuing an MA in Visual & Media Anthropology at the HMKW University of Applied Sciences for Media, Communication, and Management, in Berlin. Among several visual projects, he has produced Godmothers of War, in 2018, a portrait series exploring the lives of Mozambican women who supported the efforts of the Portuguese colonizers during the war for independence.
Caio Simões de Araújo is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, at the University of the Witwatersrand, and a Grantee of the Governing Intimacies Project. Funded by Governing Intimacies and the GALA Queer Archive, he is the lead investigator in Archives of the Intimate, an oral history project collecting LGBTIQA+ life histories in Maputo, from the colonial period to the present.
Srila Roy is an Associate Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand and lead investigator of the Governing Intimacies Project.