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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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Zooming in on the Edges: Narratives of the Santomean Nation in the Documentaries of Ângelo Torres (Kamila Krakowska)


Kamila Krakowska

Zooming in on the Edges: Narratives of the Santomean Nation in the Documentaries of Ângelo Torres


São Tomé e Príncipe is a nation whose identity is deeply influenced by journeys, displacements and migrations. Its diasporic condition was (and continues to be) structured by waves of centripetal and centrifugal movements that formed the symbolic body of the nation. On the one hand, this tropical archipelago was a destination for slaves and, later on, indentured workers coming from other African countries, such as Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, etc. On the other hand, it was a point of departure for many Santomeans who emigrated across the world. Ângelo Torres, a Santomean film maker based in Lisbon, weaves a narrative of his nation focusing on this network of origins and destinies. The objective of the present essay is to analyse how he challenges the idea of the nation in the documentaries Mionga ki Obo (2005), which depicts the community of Angolares, and Os Sobreviventes (2014), which concerns a group of young people sent to Cuba shortly after the independence of São Tomé.

The cinema of São Tomé e Príncipe is still in its infancy. The few productions filmed on the islands by local film makers are predominantly socially engaged works that deal with crucial topics of daily life and are made on a very low budget with amateur actors. In this context, the films that stand out are...

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