Mapping Angola and Mozambique
Edited By Ana Mafalda Leite, Hilary Owen, Rita Chaves and Livia Apa
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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