Book presentation

«A Resistência continua. O colonialismo português, as lutas de libertação e os intelectuais italianos» by Vincenzo Russo

May 20, 2022, 15h00

Sala Piso 3, CES | Sofia

Presentation of the book by Margarida Calafate Ribeiro and Miguel Cardina (CES)


“Remember that the Resistance by no means ended with the defeat of fascism. It continued and continues against everything that survives from that mentality, those methods; against any system that gives to a few the power to decide for all. It continues in the struggle of the peoples subjected to colonialism, to imperialism, for their effective independence. It continues in the struggle against racism. In short: as long as there are exploiters and exploited, oppressors and oppressed, those who have a lot and those who die of hunger, there will always be a choice of which side to be on”. It was with these words that Giovanni Pirelli, the anti-fascist and anti-colonialist intellectual, drew a continuity between the experience of the Italian Resistance to Nazi-fascism and the liberation struggles of the Third World.

With this book (2022, Edições Afrontamento | Memoirs) we intended to reflect on the euphoria of the solidarity and knowledge of a constellation of Italian intellectuals for a Third World in struggle: we would recount the successes, the ideal and ideological impulse, the limits (cognoscitive and of means), and its consummation within one generation. We would, however, have ended up showing only the reflection of an object which is central to our research: the African liberation struggles against Portuguese colonialism. In order to write a “cultural history” that could contribute to the understanding of marginal and forgotten aspects of the history of Portuguese culture, of the history of independent African countries and of the cultures of peoples (such as the Italian) in solidarity with the colonised, we resorted to the counterpoint dimension (of which E. W. Said), in which the resistance to the Empire, the last anti-colonial resistance (Africa) to the last European Empire (Portugal) of the 20th century is analysed, not dualistically, but within a broader framework (internationalist solidarity) and its - as we have tried to show - privileged laboratory, Italy.

About the author

Vincenzo Russo is Associate Professor of Portuguese and Brazilian Literature and African Literatures of the Portuguese Language at the University of Milan where he coordinates the António Lobo Antunes Chair (Camões Institute). Among his most recent volumes: with R. Vecchi, A teoria gentil: o projeto e as práticas críticas de Ettore Finazzi-Agrò (2020); with R. Vecchi, La Letteratura Portoghese. I testi e le idee (2017). In Portuguese, he has also published A supeita do Avesso. Barroco e neobarroco na poesia portuguesa contemporânea (2008). He is a translator of Portuguese (Bocage, Eça de Queirós, Fernando Pessoa, Eduardo Lourenço, António Ramos Rosa), Brazilian and African authors. From 2014 to 2021, he was General Secretary and Treasurer of the International Association of Lusitanistas (AIL).

A Resistência Continua. O colonialismo português, as lutas de libertação e os intelectuais italianos  intelectuais [The Resistance Continues. Portuguese colonialism, liberation struggles and Italian intellectuals] was published under the António Lobo Antunes Chair (Camões Institute/University of Milan).


Organisers: Projects Crossed Memories, Politics of Silence: The Colonial-Liberation Wars in Postcolonial Times (ERC | n.º 715593), e MEMOIRS - Children of Empires and European Post-Memories (ERC | n.º 648624)