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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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José Carlos Schwarz’s Poetics and the Guinean Nation: Relations between Cinema, Literature, Music, Memory and History (Carmen Lúcia Tindó Secco)


Carmen Lúcia Tindó Secco

José Carlos Schwarz’s Poetics and the Guinean Nation: Relations between Cinema, Literature, Music, Memory and History

Canta, Zé

Faz ouvir a tua voz …

— Tcheka (1996: 109)

[Sing, Zé

Make your voice heard …]


The purpose of this essay is to discuss the documentary José Carlos Schwarz, a Voz do Povo, produced 2006 by Adulai Jamanca (also the director), who represents the new generation of Guinean film makers. Attention is focused on José Carlos Schwarz’s poetics and the correspondence with other arts, through a study of the relations between cinema, literature, music, photography, memory, affect and history, with analysis of the lyrics, melodies, poems, photographs, songs, short videos, testimonies, interviews and declarations that comprise the documentary. Adulai Jamanca’s film language, his questioning gaze and the role of his documentary in the process of narrating the Guinean nation are also examined, while the myth of Cabral is revisited.

This essay focuses on the documentary entitled José Carlos Schwarz, a Voz do Povo [José Carlos Schwartz, the Voice of the People], produced in 2006 by the director Adulai Jamanca, one of the new generation of Guinean film makers. To facilitate our discussion of Adulai’s film language and the role of his documentary in narrating the Guinean nation, we shall divide our study into four sections: ‘Who Was José Schwarz?’; ‘The Poetics of José Carlos’; ‘Jamanca’s Documentary Gaze’; ‘The Relationship...

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