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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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Oswaldo Osório


Oswaldo Osório, pseudonym of Osvaldo Alcântara Medina Custódio, was born on 25 November 1937 in \Mindelo. He held various political posts, amongst them leader of the trade unions, as well as being active in cultural initiatives, such as editing the Cape Verdean newspaper Voz di Povo and founding the cultural magazine Seló, in which he published his first short stories and poems. Oswaldo was remanded in custody twice under the Salazar regime for his political activity. His first collection of poetry Caboverdeanamente Construção Meu Amor [Cape Verdean Construction My Love] was published in 1975, his essay Cantigas de Trabalho – Tradições Orais de cabo Verde [Work Songs – The Oral Traditions of Cape Verde] in 1977. His work also includes O Cântico do Habitante: precedido de 2 gestas [The Song of the Inhabitant: Preceded by 2 Epic Poems] (1977), Os Loucos Poemas de Amor e Outras Estações [The Crazy Love Poems and Other Seasons] (1996), and Sexagésima Sétima Curvatura [Sixty Seventh Curvature] (2008). After a hereditary condition left him blind Oswaldo continued to publish, his latest work being As Ilhas do Meio do Mundo [The Islands in the Middle of the World] (2016).

Q. Can you talk a bit about your personal trajectory and how it is intertwined with the problems of your country?

A. I was born in a time of war, because I was born in 1937 and the Second World War started in 1939....

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