Music Decolonializes Lusophonia? 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
Title of host publicationMusic and Human Mobility.
Subtitle of host publication Redefining Community in Intercultural Context
EditorsMaria de São José Côrte-Real, Pedro Moreira, Adrian Lesenciuc
Place of PublicationBrasov
Publisher‘Henri Coanda’ Air Force Academy Publishing House
Number of pages214
ISBN (Electronic)2285-2689
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Music
  • Lusofonia
  • Expressive culture
  • Propaganda
  • Heritage


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