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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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Vera Duarte


Vera Valentina Benrós de Melo Duarte Lobo de Pina was born in Mindelo on the island of São Vicente on 2 October 1952, she is a human rights activist, government minister and politician as well as a writer. After studying law at Lisbon University (Universidade Clássica), she returned to Cape Verde to become a judge at the Supreme Court and advisor to the president. In 1995 she was awarded the North-South Prize of the Council of Europe for defending human rights. She is a member of the African Commission of Human and People’s Rights and the International Commission of Jurists. She has won the U Tam’si Prize for African Poetry in 2001 and the Sonangol prize for literature with her 2003 novel A Candidata [The Candidate]. Her most important poetic works are: Amanhã amadrugada [Tomorrow at Dawn] (1993); O Arquipélago da Paixão [The Archipelago of Passion] (2001); Preces e Súplicas ou os Cânticos da Desesperança [Prayers and Entreaties or Songs of Despair] (2005). In 2007 Duarte wrote a volume of essays entitled Construindo a utopia [Building the Utopia].

Q. How has the Cape Verdean nation been constructed throughout its history? Do you think Amílcar Cabral’s1 dreams are still there today? Answering this question, I would like you to talk about your book Construindo a utopia [Building the Utopia],2 as well as other texts.

A. I would like to thank you for this project, because...

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