Dr Janne Rantala
School of Film, Music and Theatre
Janne Rantala (Marie Curie Research Fellow) is a southern Africa based Hip Hop scholar. He will be a Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral fellow with his project ‘Performing Political Memory’, which will focus on Hip Hop's performance of historical knowledge in three cities. With his original concept ‘political ancestor’, his research cuts across the rarely-associated fields of global Hip Hop studies and political memory studies in southern Africa.
Currently, as an associate researcher in the Instituto dos Estudos Sociais e Económicos, Maputo, he serves as a lead researcher in the EC funded project, conducting participatory fieldwork about conflicts and peace building in five provinces. He is also a research fellow in Africa Open Institute for Music, Research and Innovation in Stellenbosch University. He defended his PhD in cultural anthropology in 2017 at the University of Eastern Finland and at 2018-2019 he was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape (UWC).
His stand-out paper about Mozambican rap is ‘‘Hidrunisa Samora’: Invocations of a Dead Political Leader in Maputo Rap’, published in the Journal of Southern African Studies (JSAS). This publication led him to win the journal’s Colin Murray Grant, awarded annually for engaged and original fieldwork. He also contributed to the first two anthologies about Lusophone Hip-Hop, of which one in English (2018) and another in Portuguese (2019). More recently he has been busy with two submissions about 1. sampling the region, panafricanism and Indian Ocean music world in Chimoio, and 2. sonic biography of Mozambican alternative hero Uria Simango. In addition to his academic interests, he is an emergent radio feature maker and a member of the international Hip Hop collective, Interligados. Among other activities, he designed a general theme for the group’s song ‘O Poder dos Fracos’ (Power of the Weak), which gave name to the group’s debut album.