Colonial Legacies in Times of 'Black Lives Matter'

CES Studies

Memórias coloniais

Cláudia Castelo

Pedro Aires Oliveira

Cadernos de Estudos Africanos


I propose the reading of the issue of Cadernos de Estudos Africanos on "Colonial Memories" (no. 9/10, 2006), published when a broad reflection and discussion on the colonial past was still lagging behind in Portugal, for a comparison with the present. Today we have much empirical and analytical work carried out in academia, namely at CES, on the post-memories of empire and the memories of colonial wars/African liberation struggles. The historiography on late Portuguese colonialism is more robust and internationalised. Entrenched ideas about a supposed exceptionality of Portuguese colonisation and a more tolerant and fraternal "Portuguese way of being in the world", the denial of the existence of structural racism in the country are being questioned more intensely in the public space. Investigative journalism and the anti-racist associative movement have made an important contribution in this sense. In my view, this is a new trend, denoting the clash of competing views and the multiplication of controversies and urgent disputes in a democracy. Contrary to what was happening in 2006, the colonial fracture finally seems to be in plain sight in Portuguese society.

Castelo, Cláudia; Aires Oliveira, Pedro (2006), "Memórias coloniais" número temático em "Cadernos de Estudos Africanos", 9-10