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The Waltz movement: political activism of transgender people in Southern Mozambique

Grant number: 20/11927-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2021
Effective date (End): February 28, 2023
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology
Principal researcher:Isadora Lins França
Grantee:Francisco Paolo Vieira Miguel
Home Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The post-doctoral research proposed here has the general objective of investigating historically and ethnographically the emergence of the political and social movement of trans people in Southern Mozambique. I am particularly interested in their actions and narrative strategies for claiming rights and their relationship with Mozambican society and the State. Also, I am interested in putting such aspects and relationships in perspective with other regional and global scenarios of gender and sexuality activism. The hypothesis to be tested is that there is a concomitant existence, in Mozambique, of a recent - and under construction - attempted sexual revolution brokered by the trans movement at the same time that it starts from and adheres to traditional values, such as the binary-hierarchical gender system, gerontocracy, and non-violent insurgency against established power. In theoretical terms, the research seeks to intersect the most internationally sophisticated specific three bodies of anthropological research: gender and sexuality studies, African ethnology, and politics. In methodological terms, the research will include a bibliographic survey in academic and historical governmental institutions in Brazil, Mozambique and Canada; semi-structured interviews with several Mozambicans involved in the topic, with a particular focus on trans people; and participant observation with activists from the Mozambican LGBT movement and other individuals who in some way - albeit hostile - relate to this movement. It is hoped that the present research can contribute in an unprecedented way both to make the former Portuguese colonies in Africa emerge in the international scientific literature on gender and sexuality studies, and to demonstrate a Mozambican specificity in what concerns the political making of and about bodies; something particularly relevant in the growing scenario of conservative hostilities.

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