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Integrated | PhD Student
Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas | Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Av. de Berna, n.º 26 C
1069-061 Lisboa
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Tel: (+351) 21 790 83 00 (ext. 1583)


She has a degree in Musicology from the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy of the University of Palermo (Italy) and a master's degree in Ethnomusicology from the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa. She is a PhD candidate in the Doctoral Program “Music as Culture and Cognition” at the same faculty and has received a grant from the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). In Portugal, she studied the adufe in Beira-Baixa and, as for her Master’s degree, she dedicated her research to the relationship between music, memory and migratory processes, focusing on the expressive practices among the Angolan “decolonization migrants”. For her PhD, she is researching the expressive practice of timbila, which is mainly present in southern Mozambique. She has been involved in two research projects at INET-md: Timbila, Makwayela and Marrabenta: a century of musical representation of Mozambique (PTDC/CPC-MMU/6626/2014) and Ethnomusicology and Musical Acoustics technology at the service of the restitution of the Timbila collection at the National Museum of Ethnology (32568). Since 2021 she is the President of the Association Quintal - Arts and Participatory Research Laboratory, based in Italy, and which is committed to exploring the intersections between arts and ethnography, as well as engaging in applied research in these domains.
Doctoral Project

“To play timbila you have to dream about it”: Dialogism, Cultural Intimacy and Reciprocity in Southern Mozambique
Timbila is an expressive practice present in southern Mozambique, especially in the district of Zavala. It reveals a dynamic link between performance, culture and the environment and offers a privileged point from which to understand the changing cultural policies in the country from the colonial period to the independence and today, since its proclamation as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2005.
Extensive studies of timbila were carried out by Hugh and Andrew Tracey during the 20th century and to this day represent the most accurate research in this field. In light of their suggestions, a contemporary study of timbila will be presented, analyzing not only the transformations that the expressive practice has undergone, but also the dialogical relationships that exist between players, dancers, institutions and the wider “community”.
This dissertation is divided into three parts. The first part deals with the colonial and post-colonial trajectory of the expressive practice of timbila, looking at the historical processes in which it has been a protagonist and the ways in which it has been molded by different cultural policies over time.
The second part will look at the study of the n'godo, the main performative genre practiced by timbila players and dancers and characterized by the co-presence of music, dance and song. A dense ethnography conducted between the Zavala district and Maputo allowed me to understand timbila as a dynamic system based on the notion of “reciprocity” both performatively and socially. Present in local life in different rituals of the local communities, the timbila is also constantly invoked at state and political level. Analyzing different performative occasions allow us to understand the role of the timbila in various social contexts and its multiple interactions between public and private.
The third part addresses the “restitution” in research, describing actions aimed at making bibliographic and audiovisual collections, the historical as well as the outcomes of this research, available and accessible. The phonographic archive dedicated to the timbila made by António Rita-Ferreira, which can be consulted on the open access database INET-moz - Base de dados de música em Moçambique, will be illustrated, along with some audiovisual excerpts from the documentation collected during my fieldwork.
Keywords: Timbila, Mozambique, Chopi, Cultural policy, Performance, Archive.
Funding: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (PD/BD/128497/2017)