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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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Tony Tcheka (António Soares Lopes Jr)


António Soares Lopes Júnior (Tony Tcheka) was born on 21 December 1951 in Bissau; he is a poet and journalist, directing Guinea-Bissau’s national radio station (RDN – Rádio Nacional de Guiné Bissau). He worked as chief editor and director of the national newspaper Nô Pintcha, founding its cultural and literary supplement “Bantabá”. As an analyst and correspondent Tcheka collaborated with the BBC, Voice of America, the Portuguese daily newspaper Público and Portuguese press agency ANOP (Lusa News agency), RTP-África television station and TSF radio. He is founder and vice-president of the Guinean Writers’ Association (AEGUI – Associação de Escritores da Guiné-Bissau) and co-founded the Artists’ and Writers’ Union (UNAE – União de Artistas e Escritores da Guiné-Bissau). His collections of poetry Noites de insónia na terra adormecida1 [Nights of Insomnia in a Sleeping Land] was published in 1996 and Guiné: Sabura que dói [Guinea: Beauty that Hurts] in 2009. In 2017 Tcheka received the “Prémio de Lusofonia”, celebrating writing in Portuguese that is internationally recognized.

Q. Could you talk a bit about yourself? About your career, your childhood, your personal life?

A. I come from Bissau, a neighbourhood called Santa Luzia and I was born into a very small house; this type of house was known as “dove cot”. The neighbourhood was lively and crowded. The area of Santa Luzia, at the time, was very isolated, it was an outskirt of Bissau, outside the actual...

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