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Intercultural Crossings

Conflict, Memory and Identity

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Edited By Lénia Marques, Maria Sofia Pimentel Biscaia and Glória Bastos

Intercultural crossings, which are at the core of our contemporary society, are underpinned and shaped by three essential elements: time, space and people. Such encounters and interactions have the capacity not only to promote diversity and a healthy exchange of ideas, but also to act as a catalyst for conflict.
This volume examines the topics of conflict, memory and identity through a collection of insightful viewpoints and perspectives, reflecting a diversity of cultural and social backgrounds, which combine to give a contemporary interdisciplinary analysis of cultural interactions and their effects. The themes covered by the authors, such as memory and forgetfulness, migration, ecological concerns, mixed cultural landscapes, storytelling, postcolonial trauma and internal struggles for identity, offer the reader a fascinating glimpse into the ongoing and evolving social debate about identity and purpose.

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The Colonial Journey: Confrontations between Europe and Africa 121 - Maria Isabel João

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121 The Colonial Journey Confrontations between Europe and Africa Maria Isabel JOÃO Universidade Aberta/CEMRI The imperialist expansion at the end of the 19th century was associated with the production of a huge amount of cultural material centred on the African and Asian colonies. The aim was to know them in order to administer them better and to take better advantage of the enormous potential and wealth of the territories under European domination at that time – journeys of exploration that awoke the curiosity of the public in Geographical Societies all over Europe. Scientific studies were carried out on the geography, soils and subsoils, fauna and flora, as well as on the peoples living in those regions. This movement was naturally felt in Portugal. But, in addition to this scientific curiosity, an ideological movement began to take shape which sought to make the colonies popular and to draw the attention of the public to their great importance. Various types of propaganda, colonial exhibitions, and artistic and literary works were used to achieve this. It was in this context that colonial literature began to appear and was encouraged by the Portuguese State through the Agência Geral das Colónias [General Agency for the Colonies]. Between 1926 and 1951, the same body promoted an annual competition in which it awarded prizes for works of fiction based on colonial themes (Pinto, 2002: 191). The novels had to follow the main lines of the dominant ideology and to serve the Portuguese colonial propaganda machine....

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