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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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Flora Gomes


Flora Gomes was born as Florentino Gomes on 31 December 1949 in Cadique in Guinea-Bissau and he is one of the most important African film makers. He left for Cuba as a teenager, studying film at Cuban Institute for Art and Cinematography in the 1970s. He later moved to Senegal, where he worked with Paulin Soumanou Vieyra. Gomes returned to Guinea-Bissau after the country’s independence from Portugal in 1974, where he worked with international film makers such as Chris Marker and Anita Fernandez. His film Mortu Nega [Death Denied] (1987) was the first fiction film ever made in Guinea-Bissau; it was shown in many film festivals around the world and made its director internationally known. In 1992 Gomes directed Udju Azul di Yonta [Yonta’s Blue Eyes], which was shown at the Cannes Film Festival. His filmography also includes Po di Sangui [Tree of Blood] (1996); Nha Fala [My Voice] (2002); As Duas Faces da Guerra [The Two Faces of War] (2007), a documentary scripted by Portuguese journalist Diana Andringa, and A República dos Meninos [The Children’s Republic] (2012).

Q. Do you have some ideas for your next film?

A. I’m a big dreamer, a big “small” dreamer, in inverted commas. I have this bee in my bonnet about making a film about Amílcar Cabral,1 which is constantly on my mind. And there is another thing playing on my mind recently, a phenomenon to do with Africa: twenty years ago, nobody talked...

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