DescriptionIn 1822, the independence of Brazil urged Portugal to readjust its Overseas Territories. The newly inaugurated liberal regime maintained the former colonial policy and searched for a new Eldorado in Africa. The colonial issue was covered by the Portuguese press in the 19th century; António Maria and Pontos nos ii were two humour weekly newspapers whose director Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro portrayed the role of Portugal in the “Scramble for Africa” through the last two decades. The father of political cartoons published more than one hundred drawings about the disputes in Congo, Lourenço Marques and Zaire, the Berlin Conference, the Ultimatum, the Gungunhana prison, or the explorers Serpa Pinto, Ivens and Capelo, with some racism in the representation of indigenous peoples.
As an ideological weapon against the monarchy, these drawings chronicle the decadence of the Portuguese colonial Empire and expose the main responsible. In addition to satirizing political ambition, partisan interests, chieftainship and the deficit, the caricaturist accused several government members for not safeguarding national interests in Africa; with a sharp tip of the pencil, he embodies his main targets, such as Braamcamp, Rodrigues Sampaio, Hintze Ribeiro, Serpa Pimentel, King Carlos I and, particularly, Fontes Pereira de Melo, the “Pax Regeneratoria” regime´s ubiquitous mentor.
Used as a means of political and social intervention at a critical moment of the colonial issue, Bordalo Pinheiro’s graphic art portrayed several confrontations between Portugal and other European nations, particularly England, embodied in caricatures that satirized the emblematic John Bull, from the Treaty of Lourenço Marques to the Ultimatum, the incident that put an end to the dream of the Pink Map. In stark contrast, the artist, driven by emotions common to Sá da Bandeira’s colonial and abolitionist model, praises the explorations between Angola and Mozambique and the new homeland heroes’ attainments.
|Period||22 Sept 2022|
|Degree of Recognition||International|
- Colonial issue
- Bordalo Pinheiro