The Social Appropriation of the Portuguese Inner Colonisation Project in Boalhosa (1946- 1966)

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Like other European regimes, the Portuguese Estado Novo (1933-1974) implemented an agricultural coloni- sation policy that, influenced by the modernism and neo-physiocraticism ideals, aimed at economic develop- ment, social pacification and the fos- tering of national identities, resulting in the settlement and populating of modern rural landscapes. However, the Portuguese regime copied with an enduring financial crisis, and relied on an official nationalism built upon a conservative-traditional society under the epitomes of God, fatherland, work and family. Unsurprisingly, Portuguese inner colonisation was comparatively small-scaled, aimed to convert farm- hands into rural homeowners, and its modernising experiments had limited impacts on landscape. Landscape and place are not passive concepts, though. They concurrently construe and are construed by political and economic agencies, social negotia- tions, embodied experiences, plural meanings and affections. Looking into primary sources and the outcomes of a micro-ethnography in Boalhosa colony, this paper criss-crosses offi- cial-written history and emotional-sen- sory memory to illustrate consistencies and dissonances between political and social actors’ representations of the Portuguese inner colonisation. Based on exploratory observations in Boal- hosa, it argues that while the lack of political assertiveness might have cur- tailed the Portuguese project, it also favoured its social appropriation by lo- cal communities and economies within a contextualised historical and spatial continuum.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventModernism, Modernisation and the Rural Landscape: MODSCAPES_conference2018 & Baltic Landscape Forum 2018 - Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tartu, Estonia
Duration: 11 Jun 201813 Jun 2018


ConferenceModernism, Modernisation and the Rural Landscape
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