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PhD Candidate
Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas | Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Av. de Berna, n.º 26 C
1069-061 Lisboa
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: (+351) 21 790 83 00 (ext. 1583)


Pedro Mendes holds a degree in Musicology granted by Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas (Universidade Nova de Lisboa) and is master in Ethnomusicology by the same institution. He has done research in issues related with jazz practice in Portugal, having a master dissertation about the beginning of a jazz school in Hot Clube de Portugal and the systematization of jazz teaching in Portugal. Currently, he is a PhD candidate and member of the team in the project Timbila, Makwayela e Marrabenta: a century of musical representation in Mozambique - Projects of R&D (FCT); PTDC/CPC-MMU/6626/2014.
Doctoral Project
Repertoires without borders: late colonialism and the performance of popular music in Lourenço Marques (Mozambique)
How can we relate the performance of songs from artists such as The Beatles or Otis Redding with the dynamics of late colonialism in Lourenço Marques? Music has an active role on the organization of urban spaces. Recent research has demonstrated that in addition to legal devices and physical barriers, the use of and the restrictions imposed on performative practices such as music and dance were important in creating social and psychological borders between different spaces of Lourenço Marques (present day Maputo), the capital of Mozambique. Historically, the development of Lourenço Marques was based in racial segregation. Urban space was organized to cater to the interests and way of life of the European population.

This work presents a historical ethnography on the groups performing popular music in the urban space within the set of social and political changes in late colonial Lourenço Marques. I focus on the period from the 1960’s, with the end of the indigenous statute and the beginning of the liberation war (1964), until the independence in 1975. I argue that while reflecting the social structure of a colonial society ruled by the Portuguese dictatorship, the performance of popular music repertoires also fed the emergence of a new generation of black musicians and a nascent youth with a cultural imaginary that was beyond the dichotomy colony/metropolis.

Keywords: Mozambique; Lourenço Marques; Popular Music; Late Colonialism.

Funding: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (SFRH/BD/121798/2016)