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After The Last Ship

A Post-colonial Reconstruction of Diaspora


Audrey Fernandes-Satar

After the Last Ship illustrates the author’s own history, as well as its connection to the history of other women and children who left India and made the journey across the Kala Pani, the Indian Ocean, and lived as migrants in other countries. In this book the author brings greater understanding of how subjectivities are shaped through embodied experiences of ‘mixed race’. She bears witness to the oppressive policies of the fascist government in Portugal in the 1960’s and 1970’s and the effects of displacement and exile, by reconstructing her own passage from India to Mozambique and finally to Australia. Further, the author shows the devastation that labels such as ‘half-caste’, ‘canecos’ and ‘monhe’ can cause, when they eat at your flesh, your being, and your body. She sheds light on how identity and culture can serve as vehicles of empowerment, how experiences of belonging can germinate and take root post-diaspora.
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I wish to thank Maureen Perkins, the series editor for her wisdom and faith in this project; Christina Houen for her wonderful support and for guiding me through the process of re-writing and editing; and Martina Räber, my editor at Peter Lang, for her help, support and professionalism in the process of creating this book.

After the Last Ship began as a thesis for my Doctor of Philosophy degree at Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia, and I would like to thank my supervisors Nado Aveling and Jenny De Reuck for the everlasting friendship and for nurturing and guiding me in the research and writing of this book.

I wish to thank Arif, with whom I share my life, and my loving children, Shabira, Namek and Nayeem, who have always believed in me; you may find some sections a bit difficult, but this is my life here on these pages and as I kept writing I made sense of them to myself. I dedicate this book with everlasting love to my children and grandchildren and with immense respect to all women who crossed the Indian Ocean, the Kala Pani.

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