Lusosphere has a long way to go to become more interesting. If considered from the Portuguese standpoint, lusosphere reverberates the colonial past, people relate to and interest in the stories of each other more forcefully within the boundary of this "imagined community" that, despite this name, does not help them in living conditions and, if a Lusophone project exists, in most respects it has failed miserably.
I set lusosphere as a debate far from any substance, a virtual focus that, referring to Portuguese language, develops its own dynamics in different national contexts. Far from being in front of a consensual thought, lusosphere hovers on situations of tension that put in contact these different contexts with each other.
Pedro F. Marcelino has released a study on the new migratory paradigm emerging in post-9/11 Cape Verde. The study reflects a socio-economic context in which out-migration to traditional overseas destinations is no longer the only migratory phenomenon in the islands. The country has seen a steep increase in part- and full-time resident Europeans, as well as Chinese and continental African migrants. The research proposes that anti-terrorist measures and immigration control policies in both the USA and the EU after 9/11 have altered the migratory map of West Africa, whilst failing to curb people’s aspirations to depart and seek a better life.
Stating that sorcery exists in Mozambique is a mere declaration of an obvious and recurring fact. People may use it in order to obtain active results or to protect oneself from undesirable events, in the pursuance of legitimate or illegitimate, beneficial or malevolent goals. The effectiveness of this practice is, nonetheless, an issue that tends to divide readers between outspoken scepticism, attitudes of plausible doubt, complex speeches about its symbolic efficacy, and a somewhat apprehensive fear or agreement.
It is undeniable that in Lisbon there is a natural approximation of Portuguese-speaking people, not Portuguese of nationality, even when they do not share the same race and culture. National differences reduce face to the discrimination which all are submitted to. And it makes full sense to think about this reduction as a need for resistance to discrimination, because the metropole turns homogeneous all the ex-colonized, grouping them in the categories of “nigger”, “black”, “immigrant”.
Lusosphere has been traditionally intended on the basis of progressively reducing dimensions: the geographic one, that unite the eight countries of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (Portuguese: Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa, CPLP); the political one, that is confined to Portuguese speaking communities spread all over the world; and finally, the historical and cultural one, related to the Portuguese inheritance in different parts of the earth during the maritime expansion and the colonial empire.
Although most of the moral economy theorists discussed so far are critics of historical capitalism, few of them are Marxists. Indeed, whether stressing market rationalism or communal norms, they refuse (often explicitly) to discuss peasant society in class terms (see especially Magagna, forthcoming). Marxist analyses of the peasantry, along with "peasant studies" in general may indeed be out of fashion (Roseberry 1989); nonetheless it is Marxists who continue to search for the cultural components of Third World responses to capitalism-- including witchcraft beliefs. The results may be problematic, but they nonetheless point to paths of inquiry not opened by the individualist and functionalist approaches of other moral economy theories.
The central trope of the various efforts to define moral economy has been an opposition between, on the one hand, the maximizing individual and ever-expanding market of classical political economy, and on the other a community governed by norms of collective survival and believing in a zero-sum universe: i.e. a world where all profit is gained at someone else's loss. The communal/zero-sum side of this equation is broadly consistent with African beliefs identifying capitalism and witchcraft as the dangerous appropriation of limited reproductive resources by selfish individuals.
Witchcraft, as used here, is also an abstraction, but one intended to represent directly the terms used by African and other societies to describe their own beliefs and practices. The introductory section of the essay will attempt to identify an African witchcraft idiom which gives broader meaning to texts such as the Beninois oral account of slave-cowry transactions. The concluding section will examine the early-modern European "witch craze" in order to consider how the elaboration of common elements in European and African culture both reflects and mediates differing trajectories into the modern world
When the Africans discovered that the mato inspired such horror in the Portuguese, they made it their habitual refuge, patiently negotiating from there with the intruders. Queen Njinga, in Angola, played this game to perfection, thus provoking the increasing anger of the Portuguese. Referring to the subterfuges the Portuguese governor opposed to the liberation of her sister, prisoner in Luanda, she wrote on 13 December 1655: “For these and other betrayals I took shelter in the matos, far from my territories” (Cadornega 1972, II: 501). By withdrawing to the forest, the queen was not only obeying a military imperative, but also putting pressure on the Portuguese.
Since the 1960s, there has been great excitement in many African countries with the creation of art schools. Together with the first exhibitions of self-taught artists, there have also been the first festivals of black art, and even the work of African photographers has begun to establish a reputation for itself in Africa, in European countries and in some forums in the USA. The history of these artistic movements is already being written, describing their schools, their leading figures and their international impact.
Body, consumption, sexuality, expression, festivity, communality and informality will be analyzed as the central places of the new challenges, negotiations and innovations of citizenship of contemporary young people in Cape Verde.
ost-independence Africa is a space of ambivalence, where the aspirations of her people are, ever so often, opposed by her own leaders and by influences from the outside. Her wealth is largely crippled by the West’s use of financial control to make the continents resources available to its own ends. And in recent years, China’s rapidly intensifying economic influence in Africa has become yet another reminder of a new global actor that feeds on globalization and the resultant economic and political expansion, and who has not shied away from reaching out its tentacles to areas troubled by conflict and weak governance. In this conflicting terrain, we must carry with us the words of Walter Benjamin: “The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the “state of emergency” in which we live is not an exception but a rule.”
Pancho Guedes (born in 1925), architect, painter, sculptor, collector and patron, played an important cultural role during the years he lived in Mozambique. This is true because of his own work, which brought together several worlds, as well as for his role as mediator between artists of all traditions, the wider public (local and international), and the institutional artistic world, which he had access to at the time.
In contrast to the context of Francophile Africa, where the main interest was in literary works and an idea of blackness that involved the relatively contentious appropriation of European modernity, certain mediators, located further south, questioned the possible evolution of local cultures and of their own major artistic traditions, free from the subordination of European models, which were viewed in a critical way in terms of the visual arts. Within the framework of the inevitable death of the tribal art which was characteristic of traditional societies (even via tourist reproductions), new and spontaneous forms of artistic production (and also sophisticated forms of syncretism in the case of "natural synthesis" proposed by Uche Okeke in the Zaria School) were being sought without any nativist essentialism (in the cases of Beier, Guedes and Beinart).