Music decolonializes lusofonia? Entrepreneurial efforts towards interculturalism

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Recent research in the fields of Ethnomusicology, Anthropology and Sociology frame the concept of lusofonia more as a return movement of the expressive cultures and memories of Portugal’s former colonial territories than as a linguistic field of the spoken sphere. In addition, in Portugal, institutional racism has legitimated both sociological and cultural racism perspectives. This friction has implied, among musicians, addressing lusofonia as a space of struggle, decolonialism and intervention. If the documentary Lusofonia, a (r)evolução continues to be influential, so is the claim that the lack remains, of a sustained institutional interest in lusofonia and its musical fusions. Drawing upon the results of 6 years of field research in Lisbon, I want to shed more light on how efforts of cultural entrepreneurs have addressed issues of politics of memory to negotiate national narratives and cultural policies. By mapping social struggles over the definition of collective memory, Ethnomusicology may reveal how political categories blur and dichtomize posctcolonial cultural expression. Initiatives such as Lisboa que Amanhece, Conexão Lusófona, Lisboa Mistura and Musidanças, mentioned in this paper, project intercultural understandings of lusofonia processes as fundamental for Portugal’s contemporary, national identity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-213
Number of pages5
JournalMusic and Human Mobility: Cultural Interface, Ethnomusicology and Performance
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventInternational Conference Music and Human Mobility - Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Lisboa, Portugal
Duration: 7 Jun 20169 Jun 2016
Conference number: 5


  • music
  • heritage
  • lusofonia
  • propaganda
  • expressive culture


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