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PROJECT

 

 

Why the collaborators matter so much today? The discussion about the recent history of Mozambique opens up new paths to debate the so called 'truth commissions’ and their role in forging and strengthening citizenship.

For development stakeholders, Mozambique is usually perceived as a democratic success, both in terms of political and economic development. Indeed, throughout most of its short history, the Mozambican state has pursued a nation-building policy that includes the political adoption of an official history grounded on a set of public (and intensely publicized) memories about its colonial past, both recent and distant. The Mozambican state thereby seeks to eliminate or make invisible the diversity of memories generated by the complex social interactions between the colonizers and colonized over the long period of Portuguese colonialism. Such silencing has never been fully accomplished and even less so in more recent years.

This project seeks to reveal and discuss, multiple political tensions and antagonisms permeate the Mozambican society at different levels, being especially visible in the politics of belonging. These tensions reveal how a national history is, at best, part and parcel of a process of nation-building; as such, they reflect more or less intense struggles and debates over the politics of history and memory. The focus of the research will be placed upon a rather large and extremely heterogeneous group of people acknowledged, with the independence, as “collaborators” with colonialism. The project will seek to unveil the silence over the process of ‘the comprometidos’. Looking into life stories and trajectories of ‘several comprometidos’, and comparing them with archival and documentary information (newspapers, official speeches, movies, etc.), the project aims to develop a denser and more complex cartography of memories and social fractures of this particular transition in Mozambique.

Hence, this project seeks to contribute to wider theoretic and methodological debates on history and memory, developing more sophisticated analyses that account for processes of identity (re)construction in contemporary Mozambique.