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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


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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Guenny Pires


Guenny Pires was born in Mira-Mira on the island of Fogo. He completed a Masters in Cinema and Visual Arts at the University of Porto (2004) and since 2005 runs the txan films production company (now based in Los Angeles in the US), which dedicates itself to the promotion of cinematographic works concerned with the African diaspora. He works as a director and teacher of film and video production and lives in Los Angeles. His most acclaimed work to date includes the films The Journey of Cape Verde (2005), which won awards at the Pan-African and Imagens Film Festivals; Contract (2010), which won awards at the Pan-African Film Festival and Cape Verdean American Film Festival in the US; In Search of my Identity (2012); The Heart of Amílcar Cabral (2016).

Q. Could I ask you to talk about your personal trajectory, and also how it relates to the question of Cape Verdean identity?

A. I am Guenny Pires. I was born in Ilha do Fogo, in a very small village, Mira Mira; then I moved to São Filipe when I was about 4 or 5 years old, and after that I lived in Praia and in São Vicente. I studied visual technology, sociology and cinema. Later I studied cinema, audiovisual arts and film directing, and an advanced course for teachers. I have been working as a film maker for approximately eighteen years and I have been working on a training project...

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