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Voices, Languages, Discourses

Interpreting the Present and the Memory of Nation in Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and São Tomé and Príncipe

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Edited By Ana Mafalda Leite, Jessica Falconi, Kamila Krakowska, Sheila Kahn and Carmen Tindó Secco

This volume brings together a selection of interviews with writers and filmmakers from Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and São Tomé and Príncipe in order to examine representations and images of national identity in the postcolonial narratives of these countries. It continues and completes the exploration of the postcolonial imaginary and identity of Portuguese-speaking Africa presented in the earlier volume of interviews Speaking the Postcolonial Nation: Interviews with Writers from Angola and Mozambique (2014).

Memory, history, migration and diaspora are core notions in the recreation and reconceptualization of the nation and its identities in Cape Verdean, Guinean and São Tomean literary and cinematographic culture. By assembling different generations of writers and filmmakers, with a wide variety of perspectives on the historical, social and cultural changes that have taken place in their countries, this book makes a valuable contribution to current debates on postcolonialism, nation and identity in these former Portuguese colonies.

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Filinto Elísio

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Filinto Elísio was born in Cape Verde in 1961. He is a poet and also writes fiction. He has published so far: Do lado de cá da rosa [This Side of the Rose] (poetry) in 1995, O inferno do riso [The Hell of Laughter] (poetry) in 2001, Prato do dia [Dish of the Day] (essays) also in 2001, Das frutas serenadas [Of Serenated Fruit] (poetry) in 2007, Outros sais da beira-mar [Other Salts from the Sea Shore] (novel) in 2010, Mexendo no Baú. Vasculhando o U [Rummaging through the treasure chest. Scouring the U] (poetry) in 2011 and Zen Limites [Zen Limits] in 2016. He is co-founder of the Cape Verdean Writers’ Academy and writes editorials for Diário de Notícias da Madeira (Portugal), A Nação (Cape Verde) and Ponto Final (Macau). Filinto was also an advisor to the Minister of Culture in Cape Verde and vice-president for Multilingual Schools Foundation, and has worked as a maths teacher in the US.

Q. Could you tell us how, in your opinion, the idea of a Cape Verdean nation took shape; how identity was formed throughout time and and through your creative work?

A. Cape Verdean identity is, in my opinion, multi-layered, complex; according to some interpretations of Cape Verdeanity, this identity stems neither from Africa nor Europe, but form Cape Verde. I reject this view. I think the opposite is true. It is from Africa and Europe, being Cape Verde, it’s accumulative,...

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