HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in Portuguese, on French ethnographer Michel Giacometti and his revolutionary trajectory in Portugal.
Oliveira, Luísa Tiago de, 2023. “Um etnógrafo corso em Portugal: uma biografia de Michel Giacometti”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
French ethnographer Michel Giacometti (1929–1990) became an essential figure in the history of Portuguese anthropology. With a focus on his life trajectory, and considering various works and exhibits dedicated to him in Portugal as well as archival material, this article highlights the intellectual, political and even existential motives behind Giacometti’s strenuous safeguarding of folk culture – particularly folk music – in Portugal. He was part of and contributed to weaving a network of anti-fascist resistance that lasted beyond the “Carnation Revolution” of 1974. In this perspective, Giacometti’s ethnomusicology is inseparable from the fact that he both shared and built a culture of resistance and public intervention. The Portuguese Communist Party (a clandestine organization during Salazar’s dictatorship) was a point of reference in this process. Giacometti founded the Arquivos Sonoros Portugueses (Portuguese Sound Archives) soon after his arrival in Portugal in the late 1950s, and from then on, his anthropological praxis was subtly but steadily oriented towards a cultural and civic militancy that was revolutionary. The article reveals how Giacometti’s activities during the democratic transition process in the 1970s culminated in the creation of the Museu do Trabalho (Labour Museum), an institution that today bears his name and plays a leading role in the enhancement of his legacy, along with other institutions that preserve his vast collection of materials. The present article is thus a biography of Giacometti’s work, which can be situated between ethnographic praxis and political intervention.