Play, create, transform: a pluriverse of children and childhoods from southern Mozambique

by Marina Di Napoli Pastore

01 Jun 2022
Journal of the British Academy
Digital Object Identifier
Number of pages
22 (pp. 111-132)

Pages in this section

Abstract: This article discusses the understanding of children as sociocultural beings and active agents in three communities in southern Mozambique as part of doctoral research from 2014–2018. This research study aimed to understand play as comprising meaningful activities for children and examine the possibilities for transformation and reinterpretation of possible worlds. An ethnographic framework was used drawing on methods such as participant observation, photographs, videos, informal conversations, and open interviews. Through the scenes observed, all of which foreground play, this paper addresses the relationship between children and waste materials and production of toys, their involvement with landscapes and the environment, and their role in the production of knowledge and data through the use of photography. As final considerations, the article reflects on the future of childhood studies and new decolonialised perspectives that consider children and their contexts, classes, ethnicities, and gender.

Keywords: Children, Mozambique, childhood studies, play, ethnography, social occupational therapy.

Article posted to Journal of the British Academy, volume 10, supplementary issue 2 (Searching for the Everyday in African Childhoods).

Sign up to our email newsletters