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Breaking the Silence: Archaeological Discoveries and the Making of Public Slave Heritage in Rio de Janeiro (SLAVHERIT)
Date du début: 1 juin 2013, Date de fin: 31 mai 2016 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

SLAVHERIT aims to understand how slave memory, after long institutional oblivion, is being publicly memorialised in Rio de Janeiro. This process of memorialisation is considered to be in line with recent multicultural trends in Brazil, by enhancing the visibility of Afro-descendants in national history. That said, no literature has explored this process critically within the existing context of Brazilian racial politics. In addition, no literature sees how this slave heritage is actually being built, what it represents for different social actors, and which power relations prevail in its establishment. SLAVHERIT addresses these questions in an original way, taking an interdisciplinary approach that combines the fields of history, anthropology and politics. In doing so, the project deals with slavery not as a fact locked in the past but as a process relevant for political uses of memory in the present. While focusing on Brazil, SLAVHERIT will lead to conceptual and methodological contributions that will also be interesting for other contexts. In Europe, in fact, multicultural inclusion is an ongoing and heated issue in policy making, while studies of memory are flourishing and the legacy of Atlantic slavery on persisting social exclusion in European societies is increasingly being considered. Through a range of competencies to be achieved in Brazil, SLAVHERIT will broaden the applicant’s expertise in the study of race relations and slave memory in Latin America, producing skills for his effective reintegration into the United Kingdom as a researcher, academic and consultant in the proposed field. SLAVHERIT will also encourage the circulation of knowledge between Brazil and Europe, contributing to European excellence in Latin American studies, and increasing Brazil’s presence in European research on slave memory across the Atlantic.