Curator, Africa and South America, Museum of Anthropology
Nuno Porto received his PhD from the University of Coimbra, Portugal. He holds a joint appointment with the Museum of Anthropology where he is Curator for African and South American collections.
Before joining UBC in 2012, Nuno taught at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, on subjects related to theory in social anthropology, material culture, critical museology, visual culture, photography and African studies. His work has been published in four different languages in ten different countries. He coordinated the Graduate Program in Social and Cultural Anthropology between 2006 and 2011, and also taught in the Graduate Program on Design and Multimedia. He served as Director of the Museum of Anthropology at the University of Coimbra between 2002 and 2006, where we developed a series of temporary exhibitions and the notion of ethnographic installation. His PhD dissertation explored the articulation of colonialism, science, and museum culture, and how these merged in the co-development of the Dundo Museum in Northeast of Angola and of its proprietor, the Diamonds Company of Angola. This dissertation was awarded the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation award for the Social Sciences Thesis and was published by the same foundation in 2009.
Between 2006 and 2012 he integrated the Commission for the re-opening of the Dundo Museum, led by the Ministry of Culture of Angola that successfully concluded its works in 2012. During this period he also led a team that developed and implemented the website on the archival materials of the Diamonds Company of Angola held at the University of Coimbra, www.diamangdigital.net. He also collaborated with the research team for the project ‘Bearing Waters’ led by Lisbon sculptor Virginia Fróis, on the renewal of traditional Cape Verdean women ceramics, in the municipality of Tarrafal.
His curatorial work at MOA has focused on self-representation of African identities in contemporary Afro-Cuban Art and in Kenyan popular photography. In 2016, he curated Cherie Mose’s sound installation in the museum’s Multiversity Galleries, questioning how the status of migration can apply both to artefacts and to persons, and disrupting the ocular centric regime of displays. On his project on Amazonia – the Rights of Nature, he explored the transformations of indigenous knowledge into national legislation, and brought new understandings to Amazonian material culture. His most recent curatorial work Sankofa: African Routes, Canadian Roots, co-curated with Nya Lewis (Black Arts Vancouver) and Titilope Salami (AHVA Phd candidate), articulates African and Black contemporary Art with African and Black heritage from MOA’s collections. At AHVA he has been teaching ARTH 410 001 Seminar in African Art – Key debates in the arts of Africa and the African diasporas and ARTH 309 Arts of Africa and the African Diasporas. Both courses are cross listed with the UBC African Studies Minor.
Selected publications can be found at: https://ubc.academia.edu/NunoPorto
Modern and contemporary arts of Africa and the African Diasporas. Curatorship and social justice. Social museology. History of collections. Photography.