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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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After Nationalism: Literary Configurations of Contemporary Postcolonialities in Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and São Tomé e Príncipe (Emanuelle Santos)


Emanuelle Santos

After Nationalism: Literary Configurations of Contemporary Postcolonialities in Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and São Tomé e Príncipe

Nationalism is not a political doctrine, nor a programme. If you really wish your country to avoid regression, or at best halts and uncertainties, a rapid step must be taken from national consciousness to political and social consciousness.

— Frantz Fanon (1999: 202)


Through the comparative analysis of three novels from Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde and São Tomé e Príncipe, Tiara (1999), Marginais (2010) and Aurélia de Vento (2011) respectively, this essay focuses on the visible evidence of a second postcolonial phase in the literatures of these countries. Differently from a first postcolonial moment, rooted in the clash between the colonial and anticolonial logic inherent to the national liberation struggles, that favours the rise of a literature conceived in the bosom of nationalism, what we understand as a second postcolonial phase emerges when national sovereignty is no longer under threat. Comparative analysis of these literary works will show that contemporary postcoloniality, deeply grounded in the post-independence period, constitutes a time of transition from the national paradigm to the paradigm of political and social consciousness, demanding a reevaluation of postcoloniality as a critical concept applicable to these countries’ contemporary realities.

In the current economic and social situation of literary studies in contexts governed by neo-liberal logic, a cross-wise comparative study like the one proposed here may seem...

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