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Postcolonial Nation and Narrative III: Literature & Cinema

Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and São Tomé e Príncipe


Edited By Ana Mafalda Leite, Hilary Owen, Ellen Sapega and Carmen Tindó Secco

This volume investigates literary and cinematographic narratives from Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and Sao Tome and Principe, analysing the different ways in which social and cultural experience is represented in postcolonial contexts. It continues and completes the exploration of the postcolonial imaginary and identity of Portuguese-speaking Africa presented in the earlier volume Narrating the Postcolonial Nation: Mapping Angola and Mozambique (2014).

Memory, history, migration and diaspora are core notions in the recreation and reconceptualization of the nation and its identities in Capeverdian, Guinean and Saotomean literary and cinematographic culture. Acknowledging that the idea of the postcolonial nation intersects with other social, political, cultural and historical categories, this book scrutinizes written and visual representations of the nation from a wide range of inter- and transdisciplinary perspectives, including literary and film studies, gender studies, sociology, and post-colonial and cultural studies. It makes a valuable contribution to current debates on postcolonialism, nation and identity in these former Portuguese colonies.

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Lusophone Cinemas in Transnational Perspective (Paulo de Medeiros)


Paulo de Medeiros

Lusophone Cinemas in Transnational Perspective

If imperialist domination has the vital need to practice cultural oppression, national liberation is necessarily an act of culture.

— Amílcar Cabral1

The past will have been worked through only when the causes of what happened then have been eliminated. Only because the causes continue to exist does the captivating spell of the past remain to this day unbroken.

— Theodor Adorno2


Although still plagued by a form of lingering invisibility, the various Lusophone cinemas are beginning to attract more and more critical attention, as evidenced by a number of recent studies. This essay argues for a transnational perspective that eschews both the narrow confines of a national and nationalist understanding, as well as the fantasy of a global cinema that at present is still fairly split between a hegemonic Hollywoodesque form and an easily exoticized would-be alternative cinema. Consequently it calls for analysis centred on the interrelated questions of hybridism, memory and postmemory, as well as violence.

‘Everyone who has cold hands / Should put them in the troughs’. That is how Fernando Pessoa begins one of his most irreverent poems, sent to Ophelia Queiroz on 29 September 1929. I am using his ten troughs to present some brief notes on Lusophone cinemas in the present day and age. In the first←21 | 22→ place, before putting my hands in any of the troughs, and...

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