Colonial war and the end of Portugal's Empire in Africa

junio 14, 2012 – junio 16, 2012

COORDINADORES: Maria Paula Menses | Bruno Sena Martins


The Colonial War is amongst one of the foundations for the socio-political reality of contemporary Portugal. In fact, the democratic transition, initiated with the Carnation Revolution, is intimately linked to the conflict which, between 1961 and 1974, opposed the Portuguese Armed Forces to the independency movements in Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau. In the African Portuguese-speaking countries, the Wars of Independence were crucial for the fall of the Portuguese empire, and also had significant repercussions in the long conflicts that followed it in the new independent countries, namely in the conflicts taking place in Angola and Mozambique. Therefore, a thorough understanding of Colonial War gains particular salience to critically approach the construction of national memories and to analyse how such important events have travelled to the present. This panel welcomes contributions from the different areas on enquire ? Sociology, Anthropology, History, Literary criticism, etc. ? interested on the complex contours and longstanding implications of the wars that opposed Portugal to the liberation movements.

As important researches have showed, the Colonial War must be seen as part of a regional conflict ? a fight against the spreading of black independencies in southern Africa ?, and as part of a global one ? what some consider having been a ?subsystem? of Cold War in Southern Africa. This complex chessboard has important implications for the national histories that emerged, revealing secrets and imagined maps to be explored in the present. On the other hand, many of the actors involved in the war ? political and military protagonists, anonymous soldiers and civil victims ? have offered important testimonies exposing the deep personal impact of the scars caused by 14 years of war.

In that sense this, 40 years after the Portuguese empire, we want to translate war ? with its silences and secrets ? to a dialogue between the past and the present. Thus, from different perspectives, we intend to bring forward the notion that ?memories are never simply records of the past, but are interpretive reconstructions that bear the imprint of local narrative conventions, cultural assumptions, discursive formations and practices, and social contexts of recall and commemoration? (Antze and Lambek, 1996: vii).

Idiomas: Inglés, Portugués y Español

Formato: Discussant

Información del panel

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