You can't understand the world without learning about empire

You can't understand the world without learning about empire As academics, we teach about empire, slavery and colonialism because without them, the world makes no sense. Observing the protests against racism in the streets of the US, UK, Australia and elsewhere feels like watching not only a mass movement, but also a classroom, crackling with intellectual energy.

27.06.2020 | by Sanjay Seth, Francisco Carballo and David Martin

The classroom and the street

The classroom and the street On the basis of our experience as university teachers, we are not surprised that the murder of George Floyd in the US has injected renewed energy into the movements against racism worldwide, not least in Britain. No grounds for shock or surprise here.

27.06.2020 | by Sanjay Seth, Francisco Carballo and David Martin

Writing with bodies: installing a new history of Mozambique from Maputo Fortress

Writing with bodies: installing a new history of Mozambique from Maputo Fortress According to a government decision of the same year, Independence squares were to be set up in all provincial capitals and to receive identical but smaller statues produced in North Korea by Mansudae Art Studio: the statue erected in the capital is 9 meters high, while those implanted in other cities are 2.9 meters high.

11.06.2020 | by Roberto Conduru

The coronavirus and memories of the end of the world

The coronavirus and memories of the end of the world O sentimento de vulnerabilidade partilhada que hoje vivemos, enredados na crise encetada pelo coronavírus, interroga-nos, também, sobre os limites da nossa memória para democratizarmos o nosso passado, descolonizando as hierarquias raciais, coloniais e patriarcais que definem o que é alheio. Na “lembrança minha” deveria lembrar-me de inúmeras histórias de fim do mundo, histórias há muito testemunhadas por aqueles e aquelas para quem a COVID-19 é apenas mais episódio de uma continuada exposição à desigual distribuição da precariedade.

30.03.2020 | by Bruno Sena Martins

Capitalism Has its Limits

Capitalism Has its Limits Judith Butler discuss the COVID-19 pandemic, and its escalating political and social effects in America. "Unfortunately, in the time of the pandemic, none of us can wait. The ideal must now be kept alive in the social movements that are riveted less on the presidential campaign than the long term struggle that lies ahead of us. These courageous and compassionate visions mocked and rejected by capitalist “realists” had enough air time, compelled enough attention, to let increasing numbers – some for the first time – desire a changed world."

30.03.2020 | by Judith Butler

Absence: the material of memory

Absence: the material of memory Nothing could better show that the art of memory, in the way that Boltanski thinks about it and makes it, is memory itself. It knows its workings and saves it from erasure. This is the lesson that Christian Boltanski repeats to us in all the corners of his immense oeuvre. And that, literally, makes time.

07.03.2020 | by Roberto Vecchi

Rituals of a fractured memory

Rituals of a fractured memory We can establish, through renewed rituals, a collective ethic of memory. This shows that the fractured past has to be used with a sense of responsibility that is public, and not private, that is of the present, and not of the past. This responsibility concerns not only Northern Ireland, but all the unheralded contexts of divided memory. Ours too.

28.01.2020 | by Roberto Vecchi

The “war of statues” and the colour of memory

The “war of statues” and the colour of memory It would be a supreme fantasy to think, naively, that we can fully recognize the black blood that lies beneath the foundations of nation-empires and post-empires if we also leave in place the very stones that sustain and adorn the idea of the nation.

28.01.2020 | by Bruno Sena Martins

La grande bellezza: a brief note on culture in Italy, today

La grande bellezza: a brief note on culture in Italy, today We urgently need a return to culture as the filter between individuals and the political, broadly conceived. Without this we will not escape from the current situation that, not only in Italy, finds its reflection in the protagonist of Paolo Sorrentino’s acclaimed La Grande Bellezza: the tragic, failed, mundane visage of Jep Gambardella.

28.01.2020 | by Lívia Apa

The french state and the portuguese state in the face of the arrival of the pieds-noirs and the retornados

The french state and the portuguese state in the face of the arrival of the pieds-noirs and the retornados In France, in spite of the economic context of the Trente Glorieuses being favourable to the absorption of labour, the socioprofessional characteristics of the French people who arrived from Algeria did not correspond to the needs of the French labour market, which required industrially qualified workers. In the Portuguese case the inverse situation pertained.

02.01.2020 | by Morgane Delaunay

Luanda, Lisboa, Paradise?

Luanda, Lisboa, Paradise? What is at stake in Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida’s book are the living, human ruins of empire. No longer based on the figure of the veteran or the returnee, but on someone from the other side of the line colonialism traced: a black man and, in this case, the complex figure that colonialism generated, the assimilated African who, here, for the first time in Portuguese literature, is at the centre of the narrative.

26.12.2019 | by Margarida Calafate Ribeiro

Postmemory and resentment

Postmemory and resentment The construction of postmemory is a complex process which may take place in very different ways and, as is worth repeating, is never simply based on transmission, but, rather, implies an active positioning, a decision, on the part of members of a second generation. Such a decision is never simply played out at a strictly rational level, it inevitably presupposes a high degree of emotional involvement.

30.11.2019 | by António Sousa Ribeiro

Cold sweats and furtive listening in Angola

Cold sweats and furtive listening in Angola Historian Marissa Moorman wrote an important book about radio and modern state power. "Only radio receivers can feel radio waves. But people feel radio. Radio, Moorman reminds us, courses through our lives everywhere we go and alongside everything we do."

15.11.2019 | by Jesse Bucher

Us, them, why? (by way of Paulo Faria)

Us, them, why? (by way of Paulo Faria) ‘The Missing Face’ is a powerful reflection on the war, and above all on the ownership of traumatic experiences of conflict, specifically at the end of Portuguese colonialism in Africa.

12.11.2019 | by Felipe Cammaert

Museums: the ultimate contact zones

Museums: the ultimate contact zones Museums are democratising, inclusive and polyphonic spaces for critical dialogue about the pasts and the futures. Acknowledging and addressing the conflicts and challenges of the present, they hold artefacts and specimens in trust for society, safeguard diverse memories for future generations and guarantee equal rights and equal access to heritage for all people.

07.11.2019 | by António Pinto Ribeiro

Silly, sinister, season: on “the responsibility of intellectuals” (i)

Silly, sinister, season: on “the responsibility of intellectuals” (i) One that stands in contrast to the government’s disregard for democratic procedure – even as it claims to be pushing on the “people’s will” – was the publication of a book by University College London’ Press, with the title of The Responsibility of Intellectuals: Reflections by Noam Chomsky and others after 50 years.

01.10.2019 | by Paulo de Medeiros

Waiting for the Next Future (I)

Waiting for the Next Future (I) These visible and invisible movements, transparent or subterranean, brought a new vision of black cultural presence to the world in places far beyond Africa. They brought, too, a new perspective on an African continent. Portugal, which had historically opened its doors to the first waves of globalization, was looking to the future with realism and with desire.

01.10.2019 | by Margarida Calafate Ribeiro

Waiting for the Next Future (II)

Waiting for the Next Future (II) Next Future ended by opening up to the future, with a nod towards a Europe and a Eurocentrism which has hardly considered African and Latin American comic books, crime writing, science fiction or visual animation. A challenge to museums and virtual exhibitions was launched with the project-exhibition Unplace – Networked Art: Places-Between-Places.

01.10.2019 | by Margarida Calafate Ribeiro

The tree of life: political values, cognitive tools and the transformative power of the media

The tree of life: political values, cognitive tools and the transformative power of the media The regenerative pillars of society: in order to regenerate, to ill, to let something healthy grow again, we need democratic participation, environmental sustainability, social inclusion, and cultural diversity. These would be the main political goals. The cognitive tools to walk this way are critical thinking, artistic creativity, ethical technology and… that’s my point, the transformative power of media.

25.08.2019 | by Carla Baptista

An inclusionary open access textbook for Portuguese

An inclusionary open access textbook for Portuguese   ‘openness’ means listening to the language of a given community and the commitment to reproduce it in a textbook format. Inclusion of minority groups in the textbook is perceived not as ‘curiosities’, but as an integral part of the cultures being represented so that a wider range of communities and language registers (from formal to informal) is portrayed. In addition, openness applies to the articulation of gender narratives in an inclusionary format. For instance, the masculine gender is supplemented with female and other non-binary genders.

23.08.2019 | by Carlos Pio and Eduardo Viana da Silva