Literary supplements on the formation of identity in the former Portuguese colonies: «Artes e Letras», between European culture and Pan-Africanism (1961-74)

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The communication aims to give a contribution about the function of conflict in the process of development of national identities in the former Portuguese colonies during the Portuguese Late Colonialism, with a focus on the literary production and on both its European influences and tendencies towards Pan-Africanism.

Recognizing that, as Bhabha sharply underlined, identity is always a social convention used by a group of people to project its imagined community in the near future, we cannot forget that the conservative resistance to the borning identity construction, exerted by the regime through censorship and passive assimilation, had an influence on the process of affirmation of these identities themselves. The discourse about the supposed intellectual inferiority of the colonized and the effort of cultural hegemony of the dominant culture were fought by the new generation of intellectuals in the former Portuguese colonies: most of them were attending the CEI (Casa dos Estudantes do Império) academic association, in Lisbon. Their model, though, was African-oriented and obviously strongly influenced by thinkers such as Frantz Fanon, Aimé Césaire, Léopold Senhgor and Kwame Nkrumah, between others. The function of poetry, short stories and novels was crucial to the affirmation and diffusion of a renewed conscience and feeling of belonging, being enhanced, especially in Angola, by periodical publications.

The ABC, Diário de Angola newspaper and its weekly literary supplement, «Artes e Letras», are outstanding representative cases of the complex network of interactions between contrasting cultural elements, such as the influence of the Estado Novo appropriation of Lusotropicalism and the need of affirmation of a factual and ideological independence from the colonial system. The tendencies of publication of the literary supplement - and the network of collaborations that drove its dynamization - testify the internal and external contradictions and contrasts on the conception of Angolan national culture, but also the common points of departure, such as the exigence of emancipation from the colonial pattern and of a real approximation to the rest of Africa.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventASAUK 2019 - University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Sep 201813 Sep 2018


ConferenceASAUK 2019
CountryUnited Kingdom


Dive into the research topics of 'Literary supplements on the formation of identity in the former Portuguese colonies: «Artes e Letras», between European culture and Pan-Africanism (1961-74)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this