Placed in the wider scope of post-war European decolonisation migrations, The Retornados from the Portuguese Colonies in Africa looks at the "Return" of the Portuguese nationals living in the African colonies when they became independent.
Using an interdisciplinary research agenda, the book presents a collection of research essays written by experts in the fields of anthropology, history, literature and the arts, that look at a wide range of memory narratives through which the Return—as well as the experiences of war, violence, loss and trauma—have been expressed, contested and internalised in the social realm. These narratives include testimonial accounts from the so-called retornados from Africa and their descendants, as well as works of fiction and public memory—novels, television series, artworks, films or social media—that have come to mediate the public understanding of this past. Through the dialogue between these different narrative modes, this book intends to explore the interplay between official memory, the lived experience and fiction, thus contributing to build an empirical basis to critically discuss the memory of the end of the Portuguese empire within postcolonial Europe.
This book will be of great interest to postgraduates, researchers and academics, most notably the ones working in the fields of postcolonial studies, cultural studies and memory studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction; The history and memory of the Portuguese Return from Africa - Elsa Peralta; PART I. NARRATIVES OF HISTORY AND MEMORY; Chapter 1 Traumatic loss, successful integration. The agitated and the soothing memory of the Return from Portugal’s African empire - Christoph Kalter; Chapter 2 The Jornal O Retornado’s readers and the construction of a narrative of the Return from Africa (1975-1976) - Morgane Delaunay; Chapter 3 Remembering the Return: Personal narratives of paradox and bewilderment - Elsa Peralta; Chapter 4 The retornados and their "roots" in Angola. A generational perspective on the colonial past and the postcolonial present - Irène Dos Santos; PART II. LITERATURE AND THE WORKINGS OF IMAGINATION; Chapter 5 Acoustic remains: Listening for colonialism and decolonisation in Isabela Figueiredo’s life-writing - Isabel A. Ferreira Gould; Chapter 6 The frizzy hair of the retornados: "Race" and gender in literature on mixed-race identities in Portugal -Doris Wieser; Chapter 7 The (des)retorno of (bi)nationals: real and imagined experiences - Carolina Peixoto; Chapter 8 Retornadiana: The writing of the retornados and the memorialisation of the Return in postcolonial Portugal - João Pedro George; PART III. MEDIA AND CULTURAL MEMORY; Chapter 9 Historical reflexivity and artistic reflexivity. The colonial society in the film Tabu and the naturalisation of the settlers’ gaze - Nuno Domingos; Chapter 10 Negotiating the end of the Portuguese empire: The retornados’ perspective in the TV series Depois do Adeus - Teresa Pinheiro; Chapter 11 As Time Goes By. Portuguese retornados and postcolonial melancholia - Marcos Cardão; Chapter 12 Connected colonial nostalgia: content and interactions of the Retornados e Refugiados de Angola Facebook group - Bruno Góis; PART IV. REWRITINGS AND ARTISTIC APPROPRIATIONS; Chapter 13 Some of the children of it all. Reflections on Children of the Return [ Filhos do Retorno] , a performance by Teatro do Vestido: constructions, representations, memories and postmemories - Joana Craveiro; Chapter 14 Rewriting recent Portuguese colonial history through postcolonial documentary theatre - André Amálio; Chapter 15 My own recollection of their lives: Visual narratives of an archival reappropriation - Céline Gaille; Chapter 16 The retornado as archive of the sensible in contemporary Portuguese artistic practices: between transmemories, nostalgias and possible futures - Maria-Benedita Basto
Elsa Peralta is a senior research fellow at the Centre for Comparative Studies (CEC), School of Arts & Humanities, University of Lisbon, Portugal.