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(Re)imagining African Independence

Film, Visual Arts and the Fall of the Portuguese Empire

Series:

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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Part IV Rethinking (Post-)Colonial Narratives: Artistic Takes

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Daniel Barroca 11 Drawing and Undrawing my Genealogy Figure 11.1: © Daniel Barroca. This chapter is a reflection on the notes and images for my contribution to 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 King’s College, London, Camões Centre for Portuguese Language and Culture. Its main purpose is to draw a line across three generations of a proletarian family from the south of Portugal. 228 Daniel Barroca How Can a Peasant Be Transformed into a Soldier? In order to represent the first of those three generations, I used a photograph of a couple of agrarian workers, taken in Ferreira do Alentejo, presumably in the 1920s. This couple spent all their youth in the tumultuous period that preceded the Estado Novo [The New State] (1926–1974), known as the First Republic. A portrait of Portuguese soldiers in Guinea-Bissau during the Colonial War, with the grandson of the previous couple among them, represents the second generation. Born and raised during Salazar’s regime, Estado Novo, the latter was, therefore, subjected to the patriotic rhetoric that would lay the foundation for his conscription to the Colonial War. In both these images I present members of my family. The first ones are my great-grandparents, while the second is my father. My priority here is not historical or factual rigour as such, but...

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