The Good and the Bad Concentration: Regedorias in Angola

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Rural divisions and population arrangements in colonial settings are today as prone to confusion and subjective representations as they once were. In this paper, we focus on the Angolan late colonial experience of villagization and population resettlement and ask if there is a clear distinction between proto-urban settings in rural areas and colonial penal camps. We argue that the history of colonial prisons and (model) villages must consider the strategies of distinction put at work by local and metropolitan authorities. Among these distinctions, the architectural and aesthetical features of village projects became part of a conflict, opposing at once colonial civil administrators and metropolitan actors, on one side, and military officers, on the other. Together, the administrative and the military rationales for top-down social engineering projects make up the core of an important, yet overlooked debate on what constituted the good and the bad types of African concentration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-231
Number of pages27
JournalPortuguese Studies Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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