By Ângela Campos
This publication explores the lived reminiscence of the Portuguese colonial struggle (1961-1974) during the research of thirty-six oral historical past interviews with ex-combatants of this clash. The meanings that the warring parties attributed to their conflict reports then and now are the book’s analytical concentration. This venture seeks to reply to the subsequent questions: how has the general public reminiscence of this colonial clash built in Portugal from 1974 to nearly 2010? what concerns does an oral historian stumble upon whilst accomplishing interviews with veterans on a previous that continues to be annoying for lots of? what have been – and are – the main major elements of the struggle event and its aftermath for the veterans? how do the veterans understand their crew id and their historic state of affairs? and what leading edge views does oral heritage supply to the historiography of the Portuguese colonial war?
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Additional resources for An Oral History of the Portuguese Colonial War: Conscripted Generation
Memories, Trauma and the Irish Troubles (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007), 62. A. Portelli “What Makes Oral History Different,” in The Oral History Reader, ed. Thomson (London: Routledge, 2006), 32–42. 34. It should be noted that the aesthetic arena (mainly from the perspective of visual, plastic, and performative arts) was not explored in detail. See, for example, A. Thomson, “Memory and Remembering in Oral History,” in The Oxford Handbook of Oral History, ed. Ritchie (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 90–91.
39 The politics of memory operating in Portugal mean that the topic of the colonial war needs to be forced into the public domain, the “listening space” to be won through struggle. ”40 However, this public silence is, very commonly, sustained by a psychological reluctance on the part of some ex-combatants to talk, meaning that certain types of memories remain private and unassimilated. Nonetheless, through their testimonies, the war veterans participating in this research project contributed to expanding the politics of war memory in Portugal.
17 From 1974 onward, their image was almost exclusively associated with the revolution, and not so much with their participation in the colonial conflict. This political issue remains, pushing the memory of the colonial war into a non-consensual, conflict-laden space in contemporary Portugal. The ex-combatants’ mother country was a dictatorial regime in 1961 and a newborn democracy in 1974. This unresolved tension between dictatorship and democracy, right and left, confers complexity and difficulty to the remembering process.
An Oral History of the Portuguese Colonial War: Conscripted Generation by Ângela Campos