Book presentation

«As Voltas do Passado» by Miguel Cardina e Bruno Sena Martins (eds.) and «Espectros de Batepá» by Inês Nascimento Rodrigues

August 11, 2018, 22h00

43.ª Feira do Livro da Nazaré, Centro Cultural da Nazaré


The book, with Edições Tinta da China's seal of approval, will be presented by Miguel Cardina, Inês Nascimento Rodrigues e Vasco Martins (CES)

Colonialism and Independences: Memories that Cannot Be Lost

Over 40 years past, what do we know about the colonial war and the liberation struggles? What has been lost between the silencing of broad strands of conflict? In different places, what memories persist of the war that changed the face of Portugal and which was crucial for the independence of Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Sao Tome and Principe?
From the defining dates of the final phase of colonialism, dozens of authors from different areas of knowledge question the history and legacy of these times of change. In these twists of a past made of celebrated moments and uncomfortable secrets, another way of telling the memory of a war with many sides is devised.


«This is a book on the place of memory and forgetfulness of colonial war and liberation struggles in the definition of democrat

ic and post-colonial Portugal, and the constitution of the former African territories into independent states […]. Indeed, it is one thing to remember the war in the old metropolis, where it today appears as a spectrum of an empire under a long dictatorial regime, another is to remember it in the former colonies which, through it, gained political independence. The selected events have in common the fact that they have produced a memorial ballast present in public discourses and monuments, in social mobilisations, in political appropriations, in more or less persistent silences that tell us how the future lives of these past events have been shaped.» [Introduction]

Texts by: Aida Freudenthal, Albert Farré, Aniceto Afonso, André Caiado, Amélia Neves de Souto, Ângela Campos, Ângela Benoliel Coutinho, Bruno Sena Martins, Carlos de Matos Gomes, Celeste Fortes, Cláudia Castelo, Cláudio Alves Furtado, Diana Andringa, Elsa Peralta, Fidel Reis, Gerhard Seibert, Helena Wakim Moreno, Inês Nascimento Rodrigues, Isabel Maria Cortesão Casimiro, José Neves, José Pedro Monteiro, Julião Soares Sousa, Justin Pearce, Leonor Pires Martins, Leopoldo Amado, Manuel Loff, Marcelo Bittencourt, Margarida Calafate Ribeiro, Maria Benedita Basto, Maria da Conceição Neto, Maria José Lobo Antunes, Maria Paula Meneses, Michel Cahen, Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo, Miguel Cardina, Miguel de Barros, Mustafah Dhada, Nélida Brito, Odete Semedo, Paulo Lara, Raquel Ribeiro, Redy Wilson Lima, Rita Rainho, Rui Bebiano, Sílvia Roque, Sheila Khan, Susana Martins, Teresa Cruz e Silva, Tiago Matos Silva, Vasco Martins and Verónica Ferreira




The 1953 massacre in Sao Tome and Principe is, in Espectros de Batepá, seen not only as a historical event, but as an event whose symbolic dimension needs to be brought to the research centre. The premise of the book is thus based on the belief that, since it is impossible to fully access what constituted the experience of the massacre, it is through imagination and representations that several memories of the event can be told, some that legitimize public and/or official narratives - or who approach them through selective versions

of the past - and others that are part of a more inclusive process creating discursive, symbolic and political spaces that allow the articulation of non-dominant memories on the aforementioned events. These lines of narration and interpretation of the past, of course, contain various silences and absences which, in this case, will manifest symbolically or literally through the figure of the spectrum. What do the specters tell about the memories of Batepa and about Portuguese colonialism on the islands? What do they reveal about power relations and colonial society? What do the spectres say about social identities and marginalised groups in the archipelago? Who writes the massacre and who celebrates it? How are Portugal and Sao Tome and Principe designed in these representations? These are some of the questions that this book seeks to answer.

Organisers: Biblioteca da Nazaré