Valdívia Tolentino was born in the Atlantic Cape Verde Islands, 500 km off the coast of West Africa.
She is an independent curator, who holds a Master degree in Artistic Studies - Museum and Curatorial Studies from the University of Porto (Faculdade de Belas Artes), where she developed a research on what can be the object of art and artistic practice in the context of Cape Verde, investigating the Otherness of the Cape Verdean people, how it is perceived, what are the images that have been created of its Otherness, and how those images influence the recepction of art practice. For that purpose three concepts were considered central to the study of Cape Verdean people etnogenesis - Creole, Creolization and Creoleness.
Her thesis is called "To Create in the Desert: Cape Verdean Creoleness in Creolization".
In 2012 she participated in the Independent Study Program of Maumaus School of Visual Arts, during a residency in CuratorsLab - a curatorial program integrating Guimarães European Capital of Culture 2012.
Tolentino was co-curator of the exhibitions HóSPEDE in Porto (2012), as well as Convergent Boundaries - umamostra 411 in Guimarães (2012). During that same year she has also collaborated with ZeroPointArt Gallery, in the Cape Verde islands. During 2013, Valdívia has collaborated in the Production of several exhibitions held at Galeria Quadrado Azul in Porto.
Her contributions to publications include the Catalog of CuratorsLab - Guimarães European Capital of Culture 2012, Crítica na TRAMA - a joint project between Serralves Museum and the Fine Arts Academy of Porto, among others.
She holds a five year Licentiate degree (Licenciatura) in Architecture - Fashion Design, specializing in Creative and Visual Research, from Technical University of Lisbon (Faculdade de Arquitectura) and Politecnico di Milano (Facoltà di Design). Valdívia moved from Lisbon to Paris, to finish her education in Fashion Studies, and lived and worked there for around two and half years. While in Paris, she held the position of junior designer and consultant at the creative department of the Parisian strategy bureau - Martine Leherpeur Conseil - while equally working as a freelance to the journalist Catherine Dauriac, as well as to designers such as Indress, Faith Connexion, Sadaharu Hoshino - es orchestres, among others. In Lisbon, she has collaborated with MUDE - Museum of Fashion and Design as a junior researcher, having produced extensive documentation on the museum's Yohji Yamamoto and Vivienne Westwood collections, and previously worked as assistant designer in the team of the Portuguese fashion designer Ana Salazar.
Tolentino's main research interests are investigating the culture and art pratice of Cape Verde and the Diaspora, Contemporary African Art, Africa and the Diaspora, Creolization, Post and De-Colonialism, Activism, Politics and Art, Migration,Transnationalism. She also focuses her work on multidisciplinary curatorial projects, trying to explore relevant interceptions between various art fields,as well as creating visible connections with social and political issues.