Segunda-feira, 19 de Agosto de 2019

Socialismo e descolonização nas antigas colónias portuguesas de Angola, Moçambique e Guiné-Bissau

Início: Fim: Data de abertura: Data de encerramento: Países: Roménia

Estudos Pós-Coloniais, História, Workshops

O Centre Régional Francophone de Recherches Avancées en Sciences Sociales (CEREFREA Villa Noël), em parceria com o Centro de Língua Portuguesa da Universidade do Oeste de Timisoara e o Centro de Língua Portuguesa da Universidade de Bucareste (com o apoio do Camões, I.P.), promovem na quinta-feira, 15 de novembro de 2018, no CEREFREA Villa Noël (6, Emile Zola, Bucareste), o workshop "Socialismo e descolonização nas antigas colónias portuguesas de Angola, Moçambique e Guiné-Bissau".

O idioma de trabalho será o inglês. As inscrições encontram-se abertas pelo endereço:

O workshop contará com a participação de:

  • Rui Lopes (Universidade NOVA de Lisboa) - (Des)conexões: guerra fria e descolonização;
  • Aurora Almada e Santos (Universidade NOVA de Lisboa) - Os países socialistas e o comité de descolonização: debate relativo aos investimentos estrangeiros nas colónias portuguesas;
  • Raquel Ribeiro (Universidade de Edimburgo) - Cuba e a descolonização da África: da revolução cubana ao fim do apartheid.

Mais informações na página do Facebook do evento:

CEREFREA Villa Noël in partnership with the Portuguese Language Centre at West University of Timisoara, and the Portuguese Language Centre at Bucharest University, both supported by the Camões Institute for Cooperation and Language, welcome you on Thursday, 15 November 2018, from 10:00 am to 13:00 am, at CEREFREA Villa Noël (6, Emile Zola, Bucharest), to the workshop "Socialism and decolonization in the former Portuguese colonies of Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau".

The working language will be English. We invite you to enroll at

The workshop will be held by

  • Rui Lopes (NOVA University of Lisbon) - (Dis)connections: Cold War and Decolonisation;
  • Aurora Almada e Santos (NOVA University of Lisbon) - The Socialist Countries and the Decolonization Committee Debate Regarding the Foreign Investments on Portuguese Colonies;
  • Raquel Ribeiro (Edinburgh University) – Cuba and the Decolonization of Africa: from the Cuban Revolution to the End of Apartheid.

Presentation of the event:

In 1961 Angola was starting the war for national liberation from Portugal. In 1963 Guinea-Bissau followed and in 1964 Mozambique also joined the fight for liberation. In 1974, Portugal itself was experiencing ‘the winds of change’ and the fall of the fascist dictatorship, thanks to the coup d’Etat triggered by the so-called ‘colonial war’ in Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique. What follows 1975 - the year of the proclaimed independences of Angola and Mozambique - are tumultuous years defined by both independence and decolonization, as intertwined, foundational processes of (re)thinking national projects in socialist and anti-socialist frames.

A term firstly coined in 1836 by the journalist Henri Fonfrède, in relation to the decolonization of then Algiers (Shepard, 1969), decolonization is a foundational, continuous process, of multiple factors, that shapes postcolonial societies and involves local populations, former settlers, guerrilla fighters, colonial combatants, colonial structures, various nationalisms, new political alliances built on inherited structures and habits. But above all, decolonization speaks about an intertwined set of national, regional and transnational alliances, connections able to imagine utopian versions of liberation beyond independence.
Only by looking into this range of alliances and peoples we can begin to understand the aims and failures of the newly formed states. Moreover, only a transnational reading of decolonization as an ongoing process can speak to the diversity of the post-colony and broaden its understanding as bearer of local and transnational interests that often collide. From this perspective, the alliances established between new independent countries in Africa, like Angola and Mozambique, that were imagining their future in socialist frames, and countries from Eastern Europe and Cuba, were pivotal especially in the first years of independence. Nevertheless their importance, an in-depth interpretation of these connections is long from being completely unveiled.

From this perspective, this workshop aims to bring forward new scholarly work on the politics of decolonization in Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau. What can the stories of decolonization tell us about both past and future? What were the international actors in place in these spaces? How decolonization shaped the local and the regional? What were the limitations faced by the new independent countries? What is the rhetoric of decolonization today?

These are only few of the questions that our workshop wishes to challenge through the multifaceted, interdisciplinary work of the three scholars announced below.


Rui Lopes (Institute of Contemporary History - NOVA University of Lisbon) - (Dis)connections: Cold War and Decolonisation

Rui Lopes will discuss the relationship between decolonisation and the Cold War, problematising the links between these two simultaneous historical processes and examining how each transformed the other. Paying particular attention to the case of African emancipation from colonial rule, the discussion will engage with the role of socialism in the decolonisation process (both as an ideal tied to African demands and as a source of material support from the former Eastern Bloc) as well as with the role of anti-socialism in the process of resistance to decolonisation (generating a negative coalition in the Western Bloc).

Aurora Almada e Santos (Institute of Contemporary History - NOVA University of Lisbon) - The Socialist Countries and the Decolonization Committee Debate Regarding the Foreign Investments on Portuguese Colonies

Since 1962, the Decolonization Committee was the main body in the United Nations entrusted with the systematic study of colonial issues, particularly the situation in the Portuguese colonies. The competition between different interpretations of the Charter displayed by its members helped to institutionalize the right to self-determination for the colonial territories. Almost from the start, the economic dimension of the right to self-determination was central to its debate regarding Portuguese colonialism. Stressing the right of the colonial peoples to freely pursue their economic development and to dispose of their natural wealth and resources, the Decolonization Committee studied the activities of foreign economic interests in the Portuguese colonies. Since 1965, the reports published by the Committee concerning the subject engendered a number of controversial ideas and varying interpretations depending upon the considerations of each member.

The Socialist countries – Yugoslavia, Poland, Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, People’s Republic of China and Cuba – had a prominent role in the work carried out between 1965-1974 by the Decolonization Committee on the intersection between the foreign investments and colonial domination in the Portuguese colonies. My paper intends to highlight the ideas, controversies and decisions prompted by the Socialist countries at the Decolonization Committee. My main argument is that the controversies surrounding the Committee findings were a chapter in the long debate about the right to development which was taking place at the United Nations. As such, I will stress that the genealogical analysis of the right to development needs to take into consideration the debate on economic self-determination of colonial territories and the contribution of Socialist countries.

Raquel Ribeiro (Edinburgh University) – Cuba and the Decolonization of Africa: from the Cuban Revolution to the End of Apartheid

Cuba’s involvement in the Civil War in Angola (1975-1991), supporting the Marxist MPLA (Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola), represented a historic moment when Cubans would become active participants in a liberation struggle akin to their 1959 Revolution. Until 1991, with the support of the USSR, Cubans were sent to Angola as military (almost 400,000) or civilian internationalists (around 50,000). Civilians supported the reconstruction of Angola after independence from Portugal in 1975 (following 14 years of liberation war), replacing or training technical cadres (teachers, doctors, builders) and participating actively in the process of nation building of post-independence Angola. The military backed the MPLA in the Civil War against Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA (União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola), the FNLA (Frente Nacional de Libertação de Angola), and the South African army, which had invaded Angola in the summer of 1975.

This paper will present how Cuba has addressed the memory of this period, discussing how the presence of the Cubans in Angola fostered an unprecedented cultural encounter between both countries, played out through novels, testimonies, and films over forty years. By asking how memories of that conflict inform culture and identity in post-war Cuba, the Cuban presence in Africa breaks with a Western-centric paradigm in Cold War studies which tends to view “satellite countries” as USA or USSR proxies. Instead, it situates the Cuban-Angolan dialogue in the context of ideological and cultural exchanges between Latin America, the Caribbean and West Africa, and in the context of competing histories of decolonisation and South-South collaboration.

Biographical Notes

Aurora Almada e Santos is a researcher at the Institute of Contemporary History, NOVA University of Lisbon. Her scientific area of activity is the International History and the domain of specialization is the international dimension of the struggle for self-determination and independence of Portuguese colonies. In her Master and PhD Aurora gave special attention to the United Nations involvement in the Portuguese colonial issue. Auroras’s academic activities include publishing articles and book chapters, participation in conferences in Portugal and abroad, organization of publications and conferences, review of articles, collaboration in the executive board of a peer reviewed journal, contribution for working groups and membership of professional associations.

Raquel Ribeiro (Porto, 1980) is a journalist, writer and a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She took a BA in Journalism and Communication Sciences at Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal), followed by a PhD in Hispanic Studies at the University of Liverpool. She was the first recipient in the Humanities of the Nottingham Advanced Research Fellowship (2010-2012), at the University of Nottingham, where she developed the postdoctoral project: “War Wounds: Cultural representations of the Cuban presence in the Angolan civil war”. In 2013, she was awarded a Gabriel García Márquez Fellowship in Cultural Journalism at the Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano, in Colombia. She taught Brazilian Literature at the University of Oxford before joining the department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies at Edinburgh in 2014, where she teaches Lusophone literatures and cultures. Raquel has also been a permanent arts freelance correspondent and literary critic for the Portuguese newspaper Público since 2001. As a creative writer, she published two novels and several short-stories. She is a member of the Cuba Research Forum at the University of Nottingham.

Rui Lopes is a researcher at the Institute of Contemporary History, NOVA University of Lisbon, with a PhD in International History from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). The has taught Cold War history at the LSE and African history at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of the book West Germany and the Portuguese Dictatorship, 1968-1974: Between Cold War and Colonialism (Palgrave Macmillan 2014) and of several articles about the international dimension of the Portuguese dictatorship and colonialism. He is the principal investigator for the project Amilcar Cabral: from Political History to Politics of Memory and a member of the editorial board of Práticas da História: Journal on Theory, Historiography and Uses of the Past.

Film and Discussion:

The event will be complemented by the presentation of the movie: Spell Reel, Filipa César, 2017, doc. Guinea-Bissau, 96 min.
Thursday, 15 Nov., at 18:00 2018
Local: CEREFREA Villa Noël (6, rue Emile Zola, Secteur 1, 011847, Bucarest)


Convenors: Iolanda Vasile (Coimbra University/West University of Timisoara, Head of the Initiative), Damiana Otoiu (University of Bucharest, CEREFREA Villa Noël), Sónia Dias Mendes (Portuguese Language Center Camões Institute – Bucharest University)

Portuguese Language Center Camões – Timisoara – University of Timisoara,
Portuguese Language Center Camões – University of Bucharest.

Partners and sponsors:
Camões Institute –Lisbon. Portugal (
Centre Régional Francophone de Recherches Avancées en Sciences Sociales (CEREFREA Villa Noël - Bucharest) (
Porto Cineclube (

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