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Narrating the Postcolonial Nation

Mapping Angola and Mozambique


Ana Mafalda Leite, Hilary Owen, Rita Chaves and Livia Apa

The essays collected in this volume look at the way that Mozambican and Angolan literary works seek to narrate, re-create and make sense of the postcolonial nation. Some of the studies focus on individual works; others are comparative analyses of Angolan and Mozambican works, with a focus on the way they enter into dialogue with each other. The volume is oriented by three broad themes: the role of history; the recurring image of the voyage; and discursive/narrative strategies. The final section of the book considers the postcolonial in a broader Lusophone and international context.
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Some Thoughts around the Invention of the Lusofonia Narratives


Colonialism, Geography and Language

Among the complex aspects of the postcolonial condition, Mezzadra highlights two facts: on the one hand and due to the anti-colonial movements and struggles, the world which had been compartmentalized by colonialism was definitively put into question, resulting in a certain ‘unity’; on the other hand, the ‘prolonged action’ of borders and geographies drawn up by empires (that ‘impossibility’ of maps which, in most cases, was internalized by the projects of the independent nations and allied to the reproduction and the emergence of old and new aspects of inequality which (re)fragment the ‘unity’ of the world) is a problematic ‘inheritance’ which continues to challenge the imagination of the projects of postcolonial reconfiguration (Mezzadra 2008: 25–31).

The languages through which the hegemonic narratives and geographies of colonialism developed are controversial aspects for the reconfiguration of these inheritances, given that borders are multiple and ambivalent. It is, then, in the field of language, on the borders and in spaces where language, simultaneously, creates and is, that relations of power are also projected: reproducing or deconstructing the asymmetries and contradictions of various kinds. As Ferreira states: ‘As the very ground of colonial relations and their reproducibility after political independence, the European language then and now, there and here is what can hardly be avoided: it constitutes the very fabric of (post)coloniality’ (Ferreira 2007: 28–29).

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