Questioning Creole pasts: the ‘new music of Santiago’ and the poetics of the Cape Verdean nation

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Following Cape Verde’s national independence (1975), young musicians based in the country’s capital Praia and in Lisbon’s metropolitan area created new popular music aesthetics reworking expressive genres from the island of Santiago that had been marginalized throughout Portuguese colonial rule such as batuko and funaná. Between the end of the 1990s and the first decade of the new millennium these music styles have undergone renewed creative dynamics, especially due to the contribution of Orlando Pantera and other young musicians who succeeded him. Despite being labelled by the Cape Verdean media as “Pantera generation” (geração Pantera) the later came to identify themselves as musicians committed to creating a “new music from Santiago”. The island’s colonial past, its social actors, cultural practices and historical events have occupied a significant place in these creative processes and in the discourses that give them meaning. In this paper I position this relationships with the past in a set of struggles to publicly define the social memory of Cape Verdeans and their self ascribed identities as Creoles— identity formations subsumed under such terms as creolidade and caboverdianidade. I argue that these aesthetics and discourses entail a critique of colonial legacies of race and social class still active in the postcolonial present, and propose a poetics of the nation.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventSinging the Past: Music and the Politics of Memory - FCSH - Universidade Nova, Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 27 Apr 201728 Apr 2017


ConferenceSinging the Past
Internet address


  • Cape Verde's national independence (1975)
  • Praia (Cape Verde)
  • Lisbon (Portugal)
  • new popular music aesthethics
  • batuko
  • funaná
  • 1990-2010
  • Geração Pantera
  • creolidade
  • caboverdianidade
  • colonial legacies


Dive into the research topics of 'Questioning Creole pasts: the ‘new music of Santiago’ and the poetics of the Cape Verdean nation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this