A sessão do Leituras do Mundo de dezembro conta com a participação de Manuel João Ramos e a apresentação do seu mais recente livro “Of Hairy Kings and Saintly Slaves, An Ethiopian Travelogue”.

Resumo:
“A lost sketch book on a Portuguese castle rampart left Manuel João Ramos bereft, and the impulse to draw deserted him – but his first trip to Ethiopia reawakened this pleasure, so long denied. Drawing obsessively and free from care, his rapidly caught impressions convey the rough edges of the intensely lived experiences that are fundamental to the desire to travel. For the travel sketch is more than a record or register of attendance (‘been there, seen that’): it holds invisibly within itself the remnant of a look, the hint of a memory and a trace of an osmosis of feelings between the sketcher and the person or objects sketched. Less intrusive than using a camera, Ramos argues drawing comprises a less imperialist, more benign way of researching: his sketchbook becomes a means of communication between himself and the world in which he travels, rendering him more human to those around him.
As he journeys through the Ethiopian Central Highlands, collecting historical legends of the power struggles surrounding the arrival of the first Europeans in the mid-sixteenth century, he is drawn to the Portuguese legacy of castles, palaces and churches, near ruins now, though echoes of their lost splendour are retained in oral accounts. Excerpts from his diary, as well as journalistic pieces, share the conviviality of his encounters with the priests, elders and historians who act as custodians of the Amhara oral tradition. Their tales are interwoven with improvised, yet assured, drawings, and this informality of structure successfully retains the immediacy and pleasure of his discovery of Ethiopia. It also suggests the potential for drawing to play a more active part in anthropological production, as a means of creating new narratives and expositional forms in ethnography, bringing it closer to travel writing or the graphic novel.”
Breve biografia do autor:

Manuel João Ramos, nasceu em 1960 em Lisboa, Portugal, é professor associado no Departamento de Antropologia do ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL) e Investigador integrado no Centro de Estudos Internacionais, ISCTE-IUL, Portugal. É atualmente Coordenador da Biblioteca Central de Estudos Africanos.

Em 1982 completou a licenciatura em antropologia, na FCSH-UNL com a qualificação “Honra”, apresentando a monografia sobre uma comunidade piscatória do sul de Portugal. Em 1987 completou o Mestrado em Estudos de Literatura Comparativa, na FCSH-UNL, com a dissertação em literatura de  viagem.
Em 1995, apresentou com sucesso a sua tese de doutoramento  em Antropologia Simbólica, no ISCTE-IUL), com a a qualificação “Honra”, em Mitologia Cristã e a visão do Oriente. Manuel João Ramos, paralelamente, tem uma carreira em arte gráfica e está envolvido em diversas ONG’s. É o vice-presidente do FEVR (European Federation of Road Traffic Victims) e seu representante no UN Road Safety Collaboration, e é membro do da direcção da Global  Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety. Ele é o representante da Hakluyt Societyem Portugal.