Felipe Rocha Santos

 

I was born under the sun that rose over the mythical womb of the afropolitan city of Salvador, in Bahia de Todos os Santos. I grew up on the outskirts of the city, in a magical region full of trees, playing in my grandmas’ backyards, running away to spend the sunny afternoons with the nuns of a beautiful convent near our family’s home, singing as the Italian lyrical singers, listening to a lot of classical music and writing my own poems and songs.  

I sought to respond to my religious vocation by studying theology and becoming a candidate for ordination, becoming very involved with monks and monasteries and possessing an overwhelming desire for monastic life. This is a subject for another story, but that’s how I ended up specializing in religious literature and ancient languages, wandering around interested in sacred texts, myths, and cultures, serving in intercultural and interethnic contexts inside and outside the country, taking care of immigrants and refugees from African countries and living with them, and obviously always singing. Yes, for six years I worked as a teacher at a philanthropic school founded by nuns on the periphery, teaching choir singing from African ethnomusicology to children and young people. It was an incredible experience! 

I often say that a kind of irresistible bio-myth leads me to medical anthropology where I find myself as a student of Public Health at the Federal University of Bahia, eager to learn the paths of a researcher-walker-apprentice in ethnography and qualitative studies. There is something mythical-sacred-sonorous-textual-narrative about health and illness in that I aspire to know and engage in a continuous becoming in being what I was not and continuing to be what I was and can be. It is in this vein that I embark on my journey with ECLIPSE as a field assistant in Brazil.