Flora Botelho - New PhD at the Department of Anthropology

Flora is enrolled as PhD at CAS as of 1 April with the project: Privacy within the Home: middle class urbanism and the construction of family and person in Maputo, Mozambique

14.03.2017 | Camilla Dimke

I have a bachelor in Social Sciences from the Federal University of Minas Gerais and a Masters in Social Anthropology from the University of Copenhagen, where I have for the past year and a half been teaching and supervising. Throughout my studies and work I have been interested in a variety of anthropological subjects such as play, virtuality, creativity and personhood. My ambition in the PhD is to explore some of my old curiosities – and some new ones! – within a new field site. The project is shortly described below.

Privacy within the Home: middle class urbanism and the construction of family and person in Maputo, Mozambique

How does the house shape persons and families? Do transformations in the materiality of the house and the neighbourhood refract through family relations? My PhD project sets out to investigate these dynamics, focusing on the on-going urban transformations motivated by the expansion of the middle class in Maputo, Mozambique. The investigation takes outset on the premise that the articulation of notions of privacy and security in the organization of the physical urban space, with its focus on improving life quality in the city and attaining residential rights, also produces transformations in intimate social forms. Considering that physical transformations in housing and urban space are imprinted with various notions of privacy and security that stream both from local practices and from general discourses, my research will explore how these notions, once materialised in the houses and streets of the city, take part in the process of production of persons and families.

The research is part of the project Middle Class Urbanism: an interdisciplinary study of the physical reordering of urban sub-Saharan Africa, coordinated by Morten Nielsen, in which the four members of the project (Morten Nielsen, Nikolai Brandes, Anna Mazzolini and myself), will investigate various facets of the rapid urbanization processes in sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on the radical transformations of the built environment caused by emerging middle class urbanism.