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(Re)imagining African Independence

Film, Visual Arts and the Fall of the Portuguese Empire


Edited By Maria do Carmo Piçarra and Teresa Castro

The fortieth anniversary of the independence of the African countries colonized by Portugal presents a valuable opportunity to reassess how colonialism has been «imagined» through the medium of the moving image. The essays collected in this volume investigate Portuguese colonialism and its filmic and audio-visual imaginaries both during and after the Estado Novo regime, examining political propaganda films shot during the liberation wars and exploring the questions and debates these generate. The book also highlights common aspects in the emergence of a national cinema in Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau. By reanimating (and decolonizing) the archive, it represents an important contribution to Portuguese colonial history, as well as to the history of cinema and the visual arts.


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This book assembles, among others, a number of essays presented at the international conference Liberation Struggles, the Portuguese ‘End of Empire’ and the Birth (through Images) of the African Nations, held on 27 and 28 January 2016 at the Centre for Film Aesthetics and Cultures (CFAC), the University of Reading, and at King’s College, London, Camões Centre for Portuguese Language and Culture. We would like to thank Paulo de Medeiros and Cláudia Pazos Alonzo for their kind invitation to publish these contributions, as well as the CFAC’s director, Lúcia Nagib, and the Camões Centre for Portuguese Language and Culture’s director, João Paulo Silvestre, for their kind and active support. Special thanks are due to Manuel Santos Maia, José da Costa Ramos, Catarina Laranjeiro, Nataša Petresin Bachelez and L’Internationale, Rute Magalhães, João Silva, Jorge António and the Instituto Angolano de Cinema, Audiovisual e Multimédia, Pedro Pimenta, Inês Cordeiro Dias, António Saraiva, Rodrigo Dias, Nuno Conde, Margaret Dickinson and Polly Gaster.

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