International conference

Bridging the Divide: Histories, Ethnographies and Agencies in the Liberation Wars in Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau

May 23, 2019, 09h00

Room 1, CES | Alta


The yet many hidden narratives about the late colonial period of the Portuguese empire (1961-1974) are starting to surface in the academic spheres, but honest, cathartic public debates recognizing the many facets of these wars, fought both by men and women, are a long way from happening. On the side of the oppressed, in the former colonies of Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau, the pluriversality of voices that made possible the liberation are also, more often then not, a survivor’s male narrative.

Looking at what we take as obvious, women as active participants in wars and their lives, this international conference is keen to focus on the place of women in these narratives, both colonial and postcolonial, their attributed and actual roles in the wars, the places they truthfully claim, and the epistemic silence all too pervasive in the existing literature on the topic.

Eschewing grand narratives, teleology, and binary frameworks of analysis, the conference will pay particular attention to strategies and tactics deployed to disengage from colonialism as a lived experience at two levels: as an armed struggle and as an ontology for colonial decoupling, that is to say, epistemic decolonization. Framed in this way, the conference focuses on histories of wars and decolonization from a gendered perspective. The following themes will be addressed:

• Colonial Wars and Underrepresented Voices
• Survivor Narratives in the Colonial War
• Women in liberation struggles: unrecognized agencies • Histories beyond armed heroism narratives
• Gender, Race, Class, and Sexuality during Armed Struggle
• Memory and Commemoration of Colonial Conflicts and Liberation Wars • Justice and Legal Definitions Under Decolonization
• Literature, Art and Film on Both Sides of the Divide • Armed and Peaceful Resistance

Participants: Maria Paula Meneses, Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Maria da Conceição Neto, Mustafa Dhada, Sofia da Palma Rodrigues, Natércia Coimbra, Raquel Ribeiro, Marisa Ramos Gonçalves, Benedito Machava, Denisse Kátia Omar, Iolanda Vasile, Bruno Sena Martins, Cristina Valentim, Catarina Laranjeiro, Kamy Lara, Dulce Passadas.

Activity within the research project BLEND - Desejo, Miscigenação e Violência: o presente e o passado da Guerra Colonial Portuguesa (ref.ª PTDC/IVCANT/6100/2014), com o apoio da Fundação Ciência e Tecnologia.

More information soon.