“As Donas da Palavra” is an inaugural book, product of Daniel Simião’s audacious intellectual project and his successful partnership with Kelly Silva. Daniel and Kelly were the first couple of Brazilian anthropologists to undertake field research in Timor-Leste, by arriving in the country in 2002, at a time when the country was reinventing itself as a nation state after the traumatic experience of Indonesian domination. The choice revealed to be the best one. While Kelly followed the dynamics of international cooperation through the processes of building the state administration, Daniel unveiled the modernizing projects of international cooperation and their reception by the local population. Sustained by globalized categories of gender and justice, based on the idea of equal rights for men and women, toned down by the ideology of individualism, these projects clashed with native categories and forms of conflict resolution. The ethnography of the social life of the categories, their uses and symbolic weavings, entangles the reader in the major finding of the book: the invention of domestic violence in Timor-Leste. With this, the author accomplishes a double feat. He shows how classifications are inseparable from the evaluations we make about our lives and the lives of others. He reveals how pain, moral insult, and the attribution of something as violence depend on localized meanings.
Author: Daniel Schroeter Simião
Publisher: UnB / AIA-SEAS / Imprensa de Ciências Sociais