Giorgio Brocco

Portrait photo of G. Brocco in colour_©G. Brocco


Giorgio Brocco is a medical and environmental anthropologist with an interest in critical disability studies and post/decolonial theories. His research investigates subjectivity, politics and morality in the context of healing practices, toxicity, plantation and the body in both Tanzania (East Africa) and the two French overseas departments of Martinique and Guadeloupe. During these years, Giorgio has taken part in various international conferences and workshops as well as published peer-reviewed book chapters, articles and online papers. In 2023, Giorgio becomes editor of the new Berghahn Books series “Disability and Chronicity through the Ethnographic Lens”.

By analyzing biomedical and environmental measures, political and economic debates, public health policy reports, and everyday practices of human and more-than-human subjects, his postdoctoral project grapples with the multiple ways humans conceive, interact with, and imagine the lasting presence of artificial chemical molecules as well as are able to imagine altered forms of life, death and dis/ability in the two French overseas departments and Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe.

In his PhD project (at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin), Giorgio documented the life experiences and socio-economic conditions of people with albinism living in Tanzania. The focus of his analysis concerned not only the daily living experiences of persons with albinism but the multiple ways in which his research participants related to each other in their everyday experiences, talked about and imagined their bodily condition and forged various networks of relatedness, support and solidarity.

Research Focus


Contact Details

Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology
NIG, 4th floor
Universitätsstraße 7
1010 Vienna

selected publications


2021 “Trajectories of Albinism Subjectivities, Experiences, and Narratives in Tanzania.” Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

“Beyond the surface: Political rhetorics, discursive practices and multiple enfleshments of albinism.” (In preparation)

N.D. (with Mauksch, S.) “After emancipation: Disability, work and dignity in two world settings.” Current Anthropology (submitted).
2022 “Nuove e Vecchie Influenze: Antropologia Medica e gli Approcci Post- e Decoloniali [New and Old Influences: Medical Anthropology and the Post- and Decolonial Approaches].” AM Rivista della Società Italiana di Antropologia Medica/Journal of the Italian Society for Medical Anthropology, 53: 167-196.
2021 (with Freire de Andrade Neves, M.) “Radically good: Reformulating healing and care practices in times of crisis.”  Curare Zeitschrift für Medizinethnologie, 44 (1-4): 187-198
2020a “Entangled narratives: Encountering political subjectivities of people with albinism in Tanzania.” In: AM Rivista della Società Italiana di Antropologia Medica/ Journal of the Italian Society for Medical Anthropology, 50: 145 – 169.
2020b “Notes of despair and consciousness: Performativity and visibility of albinism in musical practices.” In: Disability and Society, 35 (1): 67-88.
2017  “Living a ‘normal’ life.” Perceptions and practices of albinism in the wake of humanitarianism.” In Tarantino, C., Straniero, A. M. (eds.) Special Issue, “Vizio di Forma/Inherent Vice”, In: Minority Reports: Cultural Disability Studies, 5: 91-112.
2016  “Albinism, stigma, subjectivity and global-local discourses in Tanzania.” In: Anthropology and Medicine, 23 (3): 229-243.
2015  “Labelling albinism: Language and discourse surrounding people with albinism in Tanzania.” In: Disability and Society, 30 (8): 1143-1157.

Book Chapters

N.D.The Chlordecone Affair: Toxic Embodiments, Psychological Distress and Gender Discrepancies in the French Atlantic.” In Kehr J. and Kierans C. (eds.) At the Limits of Biomedicine: Anthropological Inquiries into Health, Politics and the Environment. (In preparation).
N.D.  “A Complex condition: Social experiences, health concerns, and political issues of people with albinism in Africa.” In: Jones, E. (ed.) Palgrave Handbook of Global Critical Health Humanities, Race and Ethnicity. London: Palgrave. (Accepted and under contract).
N.D. “Critical Disability Studies and Anthropology.” In Ranganathan, S., Sudarshan R. K., Calestani, M. Care, Health, and Disability in Global South Contexts: Critical Perspectives. Frontiers in Health Services. (In preparation).
N.D.  “Medicine murders, witchcraft and humanitarian mercy: Western media portrayals of albinism in Tanzania.”  In Kent, M., Rugoho, T., Mutsvangwa, P. (eds.) Disability and Media: An African Perspective. London: Routledge (submitted).
2022 “Sparks of otherness: Producing representations of people with albinism in Africa through three documentary films from the global North.” In Baker, C., Imafidon, E. (eds.) Cultural Representations of Albinism in Africa: Narratives of Change. Berlin: Peter Lang. (Forthcoming).
2021 “Assemblages of care around albinism: Kin-based networks and (in)dependence in contemporary Tanzania.” In: Calestani, M., Montesi, L. (eds.) Managing Chronicity in Unequal States: Ethnographic Perspectives on Caring. London: UCL Press. (Forthcoming).
2019  (with B. Rutert) “Role conflicts and aftermaths: Introduction.” In: Stodulka, T., Dinkelaker, S., Thajib, F. (eds.) Affective Dimensions of Fieldwork and Ethnography, Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 23-28.

Online Publications

2022 (with Freire de Andrade Neves, M.) “Radically good: Reformulating healing and care practices in times of crisis.” Medizinethnologie Körper, Gesundheit und Heilung in einer globalisierten Welt.

2022 “Multiple energy landscapes.” PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review Website.
2019  “(Un)categorizing Albinism.” In: M. Friedner, Zoanni T. (eds.) Disability from the South: Toward a Lexicon, Somatosphere. (7 pages)
2018  (with A. C. Mbaye) “Chi sono i migranti economici? La grande ‘pacchia’ delle aziende italiane in Africa. [Who are the economic migrants? The great ‘gravy train’ of Italian companies in Africa.]” In: Lavoro Culturale, July 11. (8 pages)
2016  “Singing albinism in global Tanzania: ʻDemandingʼ inclusion through music.” In: Medizinethnologie Körper, Gesundheit und Heilung in einer globalisierten Welt. (18 pages)
2015  “People with albinism and humanitarian NGOs: Identities between local and global worlds.” In: Medizinethnologie Körper, Gesundheit und Heilung in einer globalisierten Welt. (20 pages)

Other Publications

2022 “Review essay: Multiple energy landscapes.” PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review.

2020  “Politiche della disabilità. Poliomielite, appartenenza di gruppo, e attivismo in Sierra Leone [Disability politics. Poliomyelitis, group belonging, and activism in Sierra Leone].” Book Review of Diana Szántó. Politicising Polio: Disability, Civil Society and Civic Agency in Sierra Leone. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020, 313. In: AM Rivista della Società italiana di antropologia medica/ Journal of the Italian Society for Medical Anthropology, 50: 523 – 531.

2017 Albinism in Africa: A Handbook. NGO report. Palermo: Tulime Onlus.

2017  “Africa Orientale. Il nuovo mercato della droga: Partite stupefacenti [East Africa. The new drug market: Surprising batches].” In: Nigrizia, (April), 135 (4): 35-37.

2017  “La deriva autoritaria del Bulldozer [The authoritarian drift of the Bulldozer].” In: Nigrizia, (March), 135 (3): 20-21.

2016  “A tutto gas. Nuovi giacimenti nel Bacino di Ruvu, Tanzania [At full throttle. New gas fields in the Ruvu Basin, Tanzania].” In: Nigrizia, (June), 134 (6): 20-21.

2016  “Note Generazionali. Il diversificato panorama musicale in Tanzania [Generational notes. The diversifying music scene in Tanzania].” Nigrizia, (July-August), 134 (7-8): 76-77.

2015  “Messe nere vittime bianche. Albinismo tra discriminazione e inclusione [Black messes white victims. Albinism between discrimination and inclusion].” In: Nigrizia, (July-August), 133 (7-8): 14-15.