Dominique Santos is a Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at Rhodes University and Course Co-Ordinator for the Postgraduate Diploma in Heritage Management. Her scholarly work explores the intersections of music, play, dreaming and heritage practices with intimate experiences of the self, space and social change. She is interested in the place of dreaming and Indigenous Knowledge systems as speculative methodology when working with life stories, archives and heritage sites.
Her anthropological trajectory has been, following Sylvia Wynter, informed by a commitment to ‘unsettle the coloniality of being’, connecting the university as a public and intellectual space with the wider community and natural world it is part of. To this end, she has worked with children and organisations in underserved communities on projects to occupy public space playfully, establish sustainable food systems that are rooted in the recovery of self-esteem and joy and re-think monuments and collections, supporting creative interventions that permit alternative modes of experiencing space, self and society to emerge.
Dominique combines academic inquiry with award-winning community engagement and artistic practice to generate conditions for collaborative anthropological approaches in community, heritage, public and exhibition spaces that effect social change for the greater good.