We would like to extend our congratulations to Albino Pereira de Jesus Jopela, the recipient of the 2012 Wadsworth African Fellowship. An archaeologist, Jopela will be continuing his studies at South Africa’s University of Witwatersrand concerning cultural-heritage management in southern Africa.
I was born in 1982 in Maputo, Mozambique. My research is focused on issues of conservation and management systems of Heritage, especially in relation to rock art sites in Mozambique and southern Africa. I received my BA Honours in History (2006) from Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique); a BA Honours (2007) and Masters Degree (2010) in Archaeology from the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa). My Masters dissertation looked at traditional custodianship practises for archaeological sites in southern African heritage management and considered how the social context of heritage management has changed. This research uncovered the mismatch between public policy makers (formal heritage management systems) and local communities’ perceptions (traditional custodianship systems) in terms of the meanings and notions of ‘heritage’ (e.g. the value and meaning of rock art for contemporary African communities). My PhD research at the Department of Archaeology and the Rock Art Research Institute (RARI) at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) is a direct outgrowth of this research. I have chosen Wits University for my PhD training because Wits is a worldwide recognized institution for its research on Palaeo-archaeology, the Stone Age, pre-colonial farming and herding societies and the formation of modern cultural identities in the last 500 years. RARI is one of the world’s largest specialised rock art institutions and has over 25 years of expertise in rock art survey, recording, interpretation and management.
I hold a permanent position as Archaeologist and lecturer at the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique). I am also the Director of the undergraduate programme for Archaeology and an active collaborator with the National Directorate for Cultural Heritage of Mozambique, which is responsible for advising on policies and strategies regarding the conservation and management of cultural immovable heritage in the country. I have also worked as a UNESCO Consultant on missions in Mozambique and Angola.
Interested in Jopela and his work? Reach out to him on LinkedIn.
For more information on the Wadsworth African Fellowship and the rest of our grant programs, please visit our Programs page.