Networked memories: How the internet has changed the way we remember the Portuguese colonial war (1961-1974)

Ferreira, VerónicaCentre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
Paru le : 16.01.2022

Networked memories: How the internet has changed the way we remember the Portuguese colonial war (1961-1974)[1]

Verónica Ferreira[2]

Résumé: Entre 1961 et 1974, le régime dictatorial portugais s’est engagé dans une guerre sur trois fronts pour maintenir sa domination coloniale dans ses territoires africains de l’Angola, de la Guinée et du Mozambique. Après treize ans de conflit armé, le coup d’État du 25 avril 1974 a mis fin à la guerre et à la dictature qui la soutenait. Plus de quarante ans se sont écoulés depuis lors. Ce court essai se veut une contribution supplémentaire à la production académique récente sur la mémoire du conflit. Il contribue en particulier à la réflexion sur l’importance de l’espace numérique dans la construction d’une mémoire sociale des anciens combattants et remet en question l’absence d’un récit public sur la guerre coloniale en tant qu’événement intégré dans le passé colonial du Portugal.

Mots clés: guerre colonial, mémoire numérique, blogs, communauté mémorielle, Portugal

Abstract: Between 1961 and 1974, the Portuguese dictatorial regime became involved in a war on three fronts to maintain colonial rule over its African territories of Angola, Guinea and Mozambique. After thirteen years of armed conflict, the coup d’état of 25 April 1974 put an end to the war and the dictatorship that sustained it. More than forty years have passed since then. This short essay is intended as a further contribution to recent academic output on the memory of the conflict. In particular, it contributes to the discussion of the importance of digital space in constructing a social memory of the former combatants and challenges the absence of a public narrative about the colonial war as an integrated event in Portugal’s colonial past.

Key words: colonial war, digital memory, blogs, mnemonic community, Portugal


Between 1961 and 1974, the Portuguese dictatorial regime – the Estado Novo (1933-1974) – became involved in a war on three fronts against the national liberation movements of the African countries of Angola (1961-1974), Guinea (1963-1974) and Mozambique (1964-1974) to maintain its colonial rule. After thirteen years of armed conflict, as a result of the attrition of the war and the awareness that only a change of government could put an end to it, a group of low-ranking officers carried out the coup d’état of 25 April 1974. The coup and the revolution that followed it put an end to the war. More than forty years have passed since that time, but the colonial war remains a mnemonic battlefield.

There is no official narrative to establish the significance of the conflict in the light of national history and national memory repertoire[3]. That said, this short essay aims to contribute to the academic output on the memory of the conflict in Portugal, and, in particular, to the still embryonic discussion on the importance of digital space in constructing a social memory of the former combatants. Blogs and, more recently, social networks make room for the narratives of former combatants who would otherwise be unable to challenge this public silence on the colonial war as part of Portugal’s colonial past.

On the memory of the colonial war in Portugal

This absence implies that the colonial war is not part of the repertoire of memorable national acts. This could be explained, among other factors, by the role that the officers of the Portuguese Armed Forces played in the coup d’étatthat overthrew the Estado Novo regime and the broader context of Portuguese colonial history. There has not yet been a wide-scale public debate on the violent, racist and colonial dimension of Portugal’s past (Cardina 2016a, p. 39; 2016b, pp. 68-9; 2020). The official institutions of the Portuguese State continue to perpetuate these representations of benign colonialism, already widespread in the doctrine of the previous regime, but today are readapted from media representations and common belief – a general lusotropicalism which negates the structural racism inherent in Portuguese society (Almeida 2004)[4]. Finally, by ending in political and military defeat for Portugal, with lasting consequences for many families and for many of the men who returned with permanent physical and psychological scars, the war is part of a painful past that it is not always easy or desirable to invoke (Cardina 2016b, pp. 68-9; Campos 2017; Martins 2020).

On the one hand, the combatants were relatively forgotten in the first twenty years after the end of the conflict, and their memories remained, during that period, confined to private spaces or to the safe spaces of their communities of belonging (Antunes 2015, Campos 2017); on the other hand, the public sphere kept conservative speeches on decolonization in circulation without these being accompanied by a national narrative that questioned the Portuguese colonial past and its legacies (Loff 2015, p. 49-50)[5].

From the 1990s onwards, the memory of the war resurfaced. Inaugurated in January 1994, the Monument to Overseas Combatants [Monumento aos Combatentes do Ultramar], in Belém, is a symbolic mark of the growing visibility of a nationalist discourse that depoliticizes the war from universalizing notions of civic duty to the defense of the homeland in the abstract sense[6]. In the late 1990s, the Portuguese State officially recognized post-traumatic stress as a result of war (Law no. 46/99, 16 June; Decree-Law no. 50/2000, 7 April), and several associations were created to support veterans. This recognition provided the psychiatric framework which enabled memories from former combatants to be expressed through the narrativization of their experiences (Quintais 2001).

This context created a space for expression and an environment conducive to the sharing of memories by former combatants. Since then, veterans have followed up on the need felt in the final phase of their lives to give meaning to an experience whose value was lost with decolonization and regime change. As Joanna Bourke suggests in the context of the Vietnam war, there is from this period an attempt by veterans to give meaning to the experience of violence both experienced and committed, “[…] of finding a legitimate narrative that is both coherent and convincing” (2006, p. 36).The violence committed by former combatants in the colonial war remains one of the loudest silences that characterize their narratives. The vast majority of these men do not assume that they committed acts of violence or, when they do, they understand it as acceptable or justified acts of those who participate in a conflict. The awareness of death not so far away, coupled with the need to pass on their testimony to subsequent generations, has also galvanized these men into “talking” – to tell their stories as part of a life review process.

The emergence and consolidation of a digital memory of the colonial war

From then on, the flow of witnesses has never stopped. The democratization of internet access in Portugal in the late 1990s and early 2000s laid the foundations for the growth of individual discourses with an authority based on lived experience[7]. Although this trend was already possible through the publication of memoirs – in authored editions and small publishing houses –, the internet has amplified the audience with access to texts produced without intermediaries and at virtually no cost. Similarly, this worldwide network of contacts has served as a vehicle for meetings and communication between former combatants regardless of geographical barriers. From the narrative of their experiences on a multitude of platforms and formats, these veterans have formed mnemonic networks which, in some cases, have given rise to off-screen communities, enabling some former combatants to (re)connect with each other and with their past.

Today, it is enough to type the words ‘war + colonialʼ [guerra + colonial] or ‘war + overseasʼ [guerra + ultramar] into a search engine and more than five million links will appear on the screen. The internet has given shape and visibility to a powerful mnemonic community, and this has been reflected in the creation of several websites on the colonial wars – from Wikipedia entries, news articles to digital archives, and so on. Those links that were created by former combatants represent another gateway to understanding the memory of war from the perspective of those who fought it.


Fig. 1. Screen shot, Google images for “guerra do ultramar” [overseas war], 06/10/2020.


In a social environment that they do not find particularly receptive for active listening to their stories (Campos 2017, pp. 30-1/33/43-4), former combatants have discovered in this new technology a platform for mnemonic creation. They write for themselves, for their companions, for the next generations and for those who want to read them.

Ah, who for? I usually say this ‘we have a duty to leave our testimony, people can take it or not, but they can’t say they didn’t know’. From the moment that the contributor writes and puts it here, it is at their disposal. If they read it, if they assimilate it, if from then on they take some initiative or not, that is up to them, but for now our job is done[8].

The individual and group blogs of former combatants form a blogipelago[9]. These personal pages are created on certain platforms – platforms, sites and blog hosting servers – which allow text editing for non-experts and became fashionable in Portugal during the first decade of the 2000s. Whether individual or collective, the blogs have become gathering places where veterans from various parts of the country – or from abroad – have converged, forming affective networks (Dean 2010, p. 96) of mnemonic creation. On these new user-friendly platforms, former combatants have created a space for expression and socializing, or in the words of Levent Soysal (2010), a space for intimate engagements of the public kind. Public access spaces where they produce narratives, display their private war archives, establish relationships and from which the intersubjective dynamics of the joint creation of memories are generated:

And then there are the photographs, many photographs. These are an excellent source of information. Now, I doubt people will understand what the war was like. In war as in love, without experiencing it you don’t know. It is impossible, really, to recount what the war was like. The effects of the war, the women in the war, the women who stayed here. The alcoholic habits that were picked up. The post-traumatic stress. The domestic violence that is also very much associated…[10]

The digitization of private archives is part of the process of remediation (Bolter & Grusin 2000, p. 45) in the digital space of previously existing mnemonic objects – older media such as photographs or other documents (Dijck 2007; Hirsch 2012). This process enables these archives to be exhibited in a space accessible to the public without major costs or restrictions.

It is from this remediation that the private archives of former combatants enter the public domain and become accessible from a personal computer, giving visibility to history from the point of view of its protagonists[11]. The proliferation of media – hypermediacy – present in these blogs is the manifestation of “[…] the desire to get past the limits of representation and to achieve the real […] in terms of the viewer’s experience; it is that which would evoke an immediate (and therefore authentic) emotional response” (Bolter & Grusin 2000, p. 53). These archives show the faces of the men who went to war. Not only of mourning for a youth lost in Africa, but of mourning for the comrades who died there and those who cease to exist as the years go by. This homage to the dead shows that the bonds of comradeship forged in war extend long after the war has ended. They prove that in the absence of public recognition, comrades try to perpetuate the memory of each other beyond abstract numerical data. Otherwise, part of the history from below would be lost in attics or flea markets:

Basically, the idea is this: […] we are a generation whose average life expectancy is running out, aren’t we? Seventy or so years, men […] that think that history has been badly told, aren’t we? So, in some way, yes, we all want to tell our own petite histoire, don’t we? Deep down, we just want to tell our little story, the day-to-day events… We talk about everything without taboos. From sexuality, the deserters, the lies of the official reports, the incompetence of the officers. All this has been discussed. The food, the heroes […]. A frank conversation, especially the concern that I’ve had of rescuing the letters that the men wrote from the war [memorabilia], before they disappear, before they end up at the flea market, or in the dustbin, or on OLX[12],[13].

The internet, as an open and dynamic public space[14], has also made it possible to meet these men, in an interaction that is not limited only to computer-mediated communication, but that goes beyond using the significant traffic that exists between digital mnemonic activity and regular off-screen encounters. Blogs are often the vehicles for communicating and linking up the different reunions of former combatants that are held throughout the country during the year. In other words, these communities are not limited to virtual space, they turn into meetings, gatherings, and friendships beyond computers. During the pandemic that devastated the world in 2020 – and bearing in mind that former combatants are part of an at-risk group because of their advancing age, between 60 and 80 – virtual contact has increased exponentially in the social life of these men:

I think it has done the guys who have been in the wars good to have these gatherings because it’s bringing out what’s inside, right?[15]

It should be noted that blogs have lost some of their vitality and are now competing with newer social networks like Facebook:

Facebook has taken an axe to the blog. It is simpler. It just requires a few likes; blogs don’t have likes. And it’s interesting that even people who have been in Guinea know more of what I write about Guinea through Facebook than through the blog[16].

They have suffered the consequences of the dynamic, fast paced, and unpredictable nature of the internet. Where they often intertwine with today’s economic forces. In short, although the platforms that stand out in this phase of the internet are aimed at the creation of content by users, the truth is that most of the time what these platforms do is exploit the creators by capitalizing on their work. The same happens with Google which is developing a free-rider strategy with blogs by becoming the main tool of “global information organization”. According to Geert Lovink “‘user-generated content’ combines profiles that are later sold […] to advertisers as direct marketing data, and Google soon discovered it could profit from all the free information floating around the open internet, from amateur videos to news sites” (2011, p. 5). Platforms have evolved in line with the economic interests of the moment and blogs have been no exception. Because they depended on servers and their editors to survive, the former combatants’ blogs underwent some changes as their servers closed down, their editors lost interest or possibly died. The precarious and unstable nature of the digital archive – as to whether such materials can continue in an open space accessible to the public – has to be accepted as part of the research[17].

Social and discursive dynamics: Luís Graça & Camaradas da Guiné Blog

One of the most paradigmatic examples is the Luís Graça & Comrades from Guinea [Luís Graça e Camaradas da Guiné] blog, which, having been created by Luís Graça alone, quickly grew through contact that other former combatants had with the blog. Created in 2004, 16 years later, it is proud to describe itself as the largest ever collective blog by former combatants, with more than 800 members active to varying degrees. Entries are posted every day.


Fig. 2. Screen shot of the blog Luís Graça & Comrades from Guinea [Luís Graça & Camaradas da Guiné], 08/10/2020.

As can be read in the description below the blog’s title, its “[…] aim […] is to help ex-combatants to reconstruct the puzzle which is the memory of the colonial war in Guinea.” And it is important to note that the content of the publications is very varied. The blogs of former combatants are places of nostalgia, they serve to narrate the past and to (re)negotiate the media representations of the war. Former combatants are galvanized by the opportunity to contest the public representations because they do not see themselves in the experiences and identities portrayed by the traditional media. By making their memories visible, blogs become places for actively creating alternative narratives and, at times, making political demands; notably in spreading online petitions.

However, the creation of alternative narratives does not imply that this (re)negotiation gives visibility to experiences normally under-represented within the combatant community itself (Pickering & Keightley 2006, pp. 923-5). In the process of recounting the past, former combatants can continue to reproduce other silences and absences. Power relations are a constant presence in the dynamics of collective blogs. Not only because they manifest conflicts of opinion in them, and provide a stage for negotiating social representations, but also because the use of this new technology also implies mastery of computer literacy that many former combatants do not have. In other words, the narratives contained in blogs cannot be attributed to the value of representing all former combatants who have been through the colonial African experience.

The most poignant absence is that of soldiers of African origin. These men fought on the side of the Portuguese colonial army but are not part of the community created from the blogs[18]. Luís Graça summarizes the circumstances that explain this absence in the following way:

On the other hand, we tried to bridge the divide, too. It’s not easy because, over there, not many people write […]. And they are already dead, the majority of them […]. Like my soldiers, 80% or more have already died. […] And few spoke […] Portuguese or wrote Portuguese. We have some testimonies, letters, correspondence. […] We have made a connection with some people from Guinea[19].

On the other hand, the narratives of some of the former combatants end up propagating the idea of a lost Africa, mystifying the Portuguese Empire and reinforcing lusotropicalist ideas. As Hélder Sousa emphasizes:

[…] I understand that we are living here, that the blog to a large extent reflects Portuguese society. With its… ah, factions… ah, I feel that at this moment, let’s say, the people most advocating the values and the practice of the Old Regime [Estado Novo] are gaining some, some strength, some following… not just in the blog, but in Portuguese society […][20].

The speeches about the war in the blog echo and adapt the sort of speeches circulating in society to their current experiences and needs. From the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, public space has been opened up to the victims of violence or, as Enzo Traverso (2016) says, current social actors are required to successfully award themselves the status of victims if they want to earn a place in the public memory. And some former combatants mobilize this status strategically – consciously or unconsciously:

The troops were also victims of the regime. All of them. […] We did not go willingly to fight; we were forced to fight[21].

Hélder Sousa refers to the perpetuation of a glorified idea of the former combatant which is noticeable amongst some groups of former combatants. Paraphrasing R. W. Connell, the representation of the hero carries weight in military culture by fostering cohesion and unity within the armed forces and, consequently, the effectiveness of the war machine (2005, pp. 213-4). Moreover, this cultural discourse is instrumentalized with disciplinary objectives and makes it possible, in a decontextualized way, to equate the veterans of the colonial war with all the members of the Portuguese armed forces who serve the state while critically justifying their sacrifice in the name of a universal and abstract homeland. It is a more common discourse in associations such as the Combatants League. In another line of discourse, but one that is no less decontextualizing, episodes of war reported in a depoliticized way from a descriptive military tactical perspective are also common. This is clothed in a mantle of objectivity to cover over, for example, issues relating to war crimes committed by the Portuguese Army in Africa (Dhada 2017).

As for mnemonic inclusion in space, as the colonial war was fought in another geographical location, internet access not only makes it possible to connect geographically distant comrades but also to connect these men to the geographical space where they formed those memories, in another time and on another continent. Africa, its nature, and its people, so different from those they had previously known, constitute a nostalgic space to which former combatants return through the creation of a simulacrum. A representation of this lost Africa constructed from photographs and accounts of lived or imagined episodes:

I can’t say if this is not just awakening memories […] ‘ah when I was young’ […] it may be that […] deep down when recounting those, those episodes are taking them back to when they were younger […] or a nostalgia trip, I believe that is part of it too, but I think that […] what is more striking is the need to communicate, to share the memories they have […][22].

The nostalgic dimension of a lost youth in Africa is combined with a cathartic dimension, in the sense that narrating their experiences, and feelings about their experiences, in Africa functions as a kind of therapy which they call blogotherapy [blogoterapia]. In the same way, public recognition and the possibility of having an activity that motivates them after retirement – conventionally called active aging – with some literary discoveries mixed in, all go to show the importance of blogs in the lives of former combatants (Ferreira 2020).

Finally, it is important to note that this dynamic did not occur only in communities of colonial war veterans; it was also the case in other mnemonic communities linked to the memory of the Portuguese empire. Elsa Peralta finds the same dynamics within communities of former Portuguese settlers – first or second generation – who returned to Portugal following national independence – the returnees [retornados] (Peralta 2019, p. 13). Both communities began by creating personal or collective blogs in the first decade of the new millennium, but the explosion came with the growth of Facebook. This resurgence also happened with pages or Facebook profiles of right-wing groups that mobilize the memory of the Portuguese Empire through the same lusotropicalist narrative of Estado Novo’s dictatorial regime[23].

Concomitantly, although with less popularity, dissident and alternative narratives have emerged on these platforms. In the last twenty years, there has been a growing mnemonic production around the memory of Portuguese colonialism associated with academic research, cultural/artistic events and performances, and some associations of afro-descendants[24]. They challenge the exceptionalism of the Portuguese colonialism narrative, which includes, but are not limited to the thirteen years of colonial war (Dhada 2017; Rodrigues 2018). The debates aim to decolonize the national historical narrative, drawing attention, at the same time, to its legacies – e.g., systemic racism and social exclusion, which are very much present and visible in today’s Portuguese society.

Final considerations

In a context where, at the official level, no memory is produced about the colonial war, since this is still an issue over which a relative silence is maintained by Portuguese state institutions, the advent of new digital media has made it possible to open up a new space for public enunciation. This has resulted in the creation of mnemonic communities formed from the memory of Africa. For former combatants who use the internet as a means of communication and as a creative space, it is possible not only to comment on, contest, and reinforce the narratives spread by the news, they are also creating their own mnemonic representations of the colonial war. Beyond this discursive dimension, their internet pages have a real capacity to create mnemonic communities that extend to face-to-face relations through the gatherings of former combatants organized across the country.

The internet has amplified discourses that, although already latent in Portuguese society, did not have a visible and public space for expression. And this is as true for the mnemonic discourses of former combatants, for the nostalgic discourses of some returnees on a lost Portuguese Africa, as for the discourses that question the Portuguese colonial legacy. This digital polymorphism, however, leaves an outstanding question: to what extent are these discourses visible beyond the communities that (re)produce them?



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[1] This research is part of a larger collaborative project on the history of memory of the Portuguese colonial wars/liberation wars that has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (Grant Agreement No 715593: “CROME – Crossed Memories, Politics of Silence: The Colonial-Liberation Wars in Postcolonial Times”). I would also to thank Miguel Cardina and André Caiado for their suggestions and Richard Sidaway for his translation of the article from the original text in Portuguese.

[2] Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal, e-mail:

[3] The work carried out by the Armed Forces Commission resulted in an eight volumes report, the Historical-Military Review of the Campaigns of Africa, 1961-1974 [Resenha Histórico-Militar das Campanhas de África, 1961-1974], between 1988 and 2014, that can be considered the official record of the conflict, despite not having much impact on social discourse/memory beyond the military and historiographic circles.

[4] To the discourse already conveyed by the Estado Novo, has been added “[…] a new language giving primacy to aspects such as the emphasis on the idea of a ‘European Portugalʼ as an agent in the process of colonial expansion” (Cardina 2020, p. 193).

[5] However, the first public field of narrativization of the colonial war was literature (Medeiros 2009). The silence around the colonial war was sporadically broken, since the late 1970s, by literary works written both by former combatants, including João de Melo and António Lobo Antunes, and other Portuguese-known authors, such as Lídia Jorge and Wanda Ramos, see for instance Ribeiro 1998. Moreover, the former combatants also wrote several poems about their experience in the war (Ribeiro & Vecchi 2011).

[6] During the government of Cavaco Silva (1985-1995), a commission chaired by the Combatants League [Liga dos Combatentes] (LC) and other associations organized the construction of the Monument to Overseas Combatants between 1987 and 1994. The monument is part of a mnemonic complex formed by the physical landmarks of Empire located in Belém, west of Lisbon (cf. Peralta 2013), which is very popular among tourists. The Monastery of Jerónimos [Mosteiro dos Jerónimos] and the Tower of Belém [Torre de Belém] are also on the same site, both major architectural works from the period of maritime expansion. The Portuguese World Exhibition (1940) was held there to show the diversity and prosperity of the Portuguese dominions at a time when the rest of Europe was experiencing a bloody war. The Empire Square [Praça do Império] and Monument to the Discoveries [Padrão dos Descobrimentos] are still there today.

[7] Between 2000 and 2010 there was a growth of 530.9% in the number of internet subscribers in Portugal. Data from ANACOM and the Portuguese National Institute of Statistics, available at The Internet penetration rate in Portugal in 2000 was 16.43% and had increased to 53.3% by 2010. More recent figures point to a penetration rate of 73.79 % in 2017. Data from the International Telecommunication Union from Eurostat and the Portuguese National Institute of Statistics, available at

[8] Interview by the author with Hélder Sousa, one of the writers of the blog Luís Graça & Camaradas da Guiné (09/01/2019), presented later.

[9] Like the researcher Jodi Dean “I favour the term ‘blogipelago’ over the more common ‘blogosphere.’ “[…] The term ‘blogosphere’ tricks us into thinking community when we should be asking about the kinds of links, networks, flows, and solidarities that blogs hinder and encourage. ‘Blogipelago,’ like archipelago, reminds us of separateness, disconnection, and the immense effort it can take to move from one island or network to another. It incites us to attend to the variety of uses, engagements, performances, and intensities blogging contributes and circulates” (Dean 2010, p. 38).

[10] Interview with Jorge Cabral, one of the writers of the blog Luís Graça & Camaradas da Guiné (15/04/2019).

[11] Jay D. Bolter and Richard Grusin’s concept of remediation is defined as follow: “[…] we call the representation of one medium in another remediation, and we will argue that remediation is a defining characteristic of the new digital media.” (2000, p. 45). They explain that “[…] the computer is offered as a new means of gaining access to these older materials, as if the content of the older media could simply be poured into the new one. Since the electronic version justifies itself by granting access to the older media, it wants to be transparent. The digital medium wants to erase itself, so that the viewer stands in the same relationship to the content as she would if she were confronting the original medium” (ibid.).

[12] An internet page where used items are sold.

[13] Interview by Diana Andringa of Luís Graça, founding member of the blog Luís Graça & Camaradas da Guiné (15/05/2018).

[14] This concept of digital public space has some similarities with the public sphere of Jürgen Habermas, on the one hand, and with the notion of the network society of Manuel Castells, on the other hand. According to the former, the public sphere is where society engages in critical public debate. Thus, it is where citizens communicate about the norms of their society. In that sense, a large part of our communication occurs in digital technologies, particularly in the World Wide Web. However, this growing visibility of bottom voices does not follow the rhetorical conventions of the rational and deliberative Habermasian public sphere. The collective debate and action co-exist with a re-tribalized discourse on digital social media and right-wing provocations (Hartley 2020, pp. 111-3). Besides, the web is not an entirely open space, as its platformization shows.

[15] Interview by the author with Eduardo Ribeiro, one of the writers of the blog Luís Graça & Camaradas da Guiné (09/07/2018).

[16] Interview with Jorge Cabral, op. cit.

[17] As Christine Hine suggests, “[a]n ethnographer […] must get used to a perpetual feeling of uncertainty, of wondering what has been missed, and attempting to build interpretations of events based on sketchy evidence”; and “[e]mbracing mediated communication means, however, accepting the limits to perception that various forms of mediation confer, and accommodating some consequent loss of ability to develop a holistic and detailed understanding (2015, pp. 4-5).

[18] After the war these men had to face the consequences of their collaboration with the Portuguese colonial army, a particularly bleak scenario in Guinea-Bissau, where “[…] many of them […] were arrested and it has been alleged that hundreds, if not thousands, were simply shot after summary trials” (Coelho 2002, p. 149). There was and still is ambiguity as regards African subjects viewed within the Portuguese political body. They are sometimes seen in a paternalistic and condescending way.

[19] Interview with Luís Graça by Diana Andringa, op. cit.

[20] Interview by the author with Hélder Sousa, op. cit.

[21] Interview by the author with Inácio Silva, one of the writers of the blog Luís Graça & Camaradas da Guiné (08/01/2019).

[22] Interview by the author with Hélder Sousa, op. cit.

[23] One of the most paradigmatic examples is the group New Portugality [Nova Portugalidade],

[24] Some examples of these associations are Afrolis – Cultural Association [Associação Cultural] (2014, an audio blog available at, and Djass – Association of Afro-descendants [Associação de Afrodescendentes] (2016, more information available at, among others more or less informal as is the case of  Black Consciousness [Consciência Negra] (2015, a Facebook page available at