Maria do Carmo Piçarra teaches Public Cultural Policies at ISCTE – University of Lisbon and is currently Research Assistant in the project “The Sciences of Anthropological Classification in Portuguese Timor”. She holds a PhD, a Master and a BA in Communication Sciences from the New University of Lisboa. She is also a Research Fellow at CIMJ – Research Center Media and Journalism of the New University of Lisboa. Her research combines film studies and postcolonial studies. She has been working on the portuguese colonial representations on Estado Novo propaganda cinema, forbidden or censored films as well as on militant cinema.

In the current project, she is working on the anthropological, military and propaganda films made in Timor during portuguese dictatorship in order to analyze, through cinema, ideological changes and the influence of anthropological and sociological theories – from anthropobiological theories to Gilberto Freyre’s lusotropicalism – on the colonial representations of Timor.

Selected publications:

  • 2011 Salazar vai ao cinema II. A “Política do Espírito” no Jornal Português. Lisboa:Drella Design, 2011.
  • 2006 Salazar vai ao cinema – O “Jornal Português” de actualidades filmadas.. Coimbra: Ed.Minerva, 2006.

Recent articles

  • in press “Do Minho a Timor somos todos… passáros de asas cortadas” in Censura nunca mais? Censura e mecanismos de controlo da informação no Teatro e no Cinema Óbidos: Aletheia (in press).
  • 2012 ““Ultramarine Blues: the filmic memorial of the salted sea ballad”, in Claudia D’ Alonzo, Ken Slock, Philippe Dubois(eds.), Cinema, critique des images Udine : Campanotto Editore, 2012, v. 2, p. 99-127.
  • 2010 ““Portugal olhado pelo cinema como centro imaginário de um império”. in Moisés de Lemos Martins e Rosa Cabecinhas, (eds.), Anuário Internacional da Comunicação Lusófona. Memória social e dinâmica lusófona Coimbra: CECS/Grácio Editor, 2010, p. 77-96.
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  • Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
  • Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa
  • Associated research projects

  • Associated research projects

Exploring Colonial Anthropologies

  • The presence of the Portuguese in Timor, a small island at the end of the Lesser Sunda Islands chain, dates from the mid-sixteenth century. For the next 250 years, Portuguese Catholic missionaries, soldiers, traders, officials, governors, scientists, and military became regular company of the Timorese populations. First based in Lifau (Oecusse), and since 1769 based in Dilly, the Portuguese claimed sovereignty and exercised colonial government over the Eastern half of the island. Today’s nation Republic of Timor-Leste, went by the name of ‘Portuguese Timor’, a colonial province of Portugal, until the Indonesian occupation in 1975. Throughout this long colonial period a great and rich variety of published and unpublished documents was produced by colonial agents.

    From manuscript letters to administrative reports, travelogues, journal articles, or book-length texts, the Portuguese colonial archives offer an abundant field of important material about the past and present of the bodies, languages, and cultures of Timor-Leste peoples. It is this varied and complex colonial material on the history and anthropology of Timor that this research project aims at revealing, exploring, and critically analyze.

    In engaging with these archives, we are concerned not just with how they illuminate former anthropological understandings and colonial encounters between Indigenous and Europeans; we also aim at exploring how they shape current understandings and might help the creation of a post-colonial moment for the history and anthropology of Timor-Leste.

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