About us

Viviana L. Toro Matuk

Viviana L.  Toro MatukoViviana L. Toro Matuk earned a master degree in Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences at the University of Milan-Bicocca, with a dissertation on quilombos and slave ancestry in the Northeast of Brazil. She is currently a PhD candidate in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the same institution. Since June 2015, she is associated with SWAB. Her principal research interests include the legacies of internal slavery and slave trade, and the changing contours of freedom in contemporary Guinea-Bissau.





Research Project: “Freedoms: the Fulbe of Gabù and the Guina-Bissau War of Independence.”

In September 1974, Guinea-Bissau was declared independent after eleven years of war conducted under the leadership of the PAIGC party, founded in 1956 by Amilcar Cabral. Concepts of freedom and social equality became part of the ideological framework of many anti-colonial fighters and interacted with local social hierarchies in many contradictory ways. What does it happen, when socialist based ideologies and discourses meet the life trajectories of people who are used to a hierarchical model of society, as the Fulbe of Gabù, the northeastern region of Guinea Bissau? Which ideas of freedom circulate during the war? How do they differ from today? My research project explores the local impact of the liberation war in terms social stratification, marriage interdictions, and religious rituals. Through ethnography and oral history, I try to understand how people have renegotiated local meanings and practices of freedom in a context where the legacies of slavery inform social stratifications.