Placed in the wider scope of post-war European decolonisation migrations, The Retornados from the Portuguese Colonies in Africa looks at the "Return" of the Portuguese nationals living in the African colonies when they became independent.

Using an interdisciplinary research agenda, the book presents a collection of research essays written by experts in the fields of anthropology, history, literature and the arts, that look at a wide range of memory narratives through which the Return—as well as the experiences of war, violence, loss and trauma—have been expressed, contested and internalised in the social realm. These narratives include testimonial accounts from the so-called retornados from Africa and their descendants, as well as works of fiction and public memory—novels, television series, artworks, films or social media—that have come to mediate the public understanding of this past. Through the dialogue between these different narrative modes, this book intends to explore the interplay between official memory, the lived experience and fiction, thus contributing to build an empirical basis to critically discuss the memory of the end of the Portuguese empire within postcolonial Europe.

This book will be of great interest to postgraduates, researchers and academics, most notably the ones working in the fields of postcolonial studies, cultural studies and memory studies.

chapter |32 pages


The History and Memory of the Portuguese Return from Africa
ByElsa Peralta

part I|91 pages

Narratives of History and Memory

part II|98 pages

Literature and the Workings of Imagination

chapter 5|23 pages

Acoustic Remains

Listening for Colonialism and Decolonisation in Isabela Figueiredo's Life-Writing
ByIsabel A. Ferreira Gould

chapter 6|21 pages

The Frizzy Hair of the Retornados

“Race” and Gender in Literature on Mixed-Race Identities in Portugal
ByDoris Wieser

chapter 7|22 pages

The (Des)retorno of (Bi)nationals

Real and Imagined Experiences
ByCarolina Peixoto

chapter 8|30 pages


The Writing of the Retornados and the Memorialisation of the Return in Postcolonial Portugal
ByJoão Pedro George

part III|82 pages

Media and Cultural Memory

chapter 9|18 pages

Historical Reflexivity and Artistic Reflexivity

The Colonial Society in the Film Tabu and the Naturalisation of the Settlers' Gaze
ByNuno Domingos

chapter 10|22 pages

Negotiating the End of the Portuguese Empire

The Retornados' Perspective in the TV Series Depois do Adeus
ByTeresa Pinheiro

chapter 11|19 pages

As Time Goes By.Portuguese Retornados and Postcolonial Melancholia

ByMarcos Cardão

chapter 12|21 pages

Connected Colonial Nostalgia

Content and Interactions of the Retornados e Refugiados de Angola Facebook Group
ByBruno Góis

part IV|106 pages

Rewritings and Artistic Appropriations

chapter 13|30 pages

Some of the Children of It All. Reflections on Children of the Return [Filhos do Retorno], a Performance by Teatro do Vestido

Constructions, Representations, Memories, and Postmemories
ByJoana Craveiro

chapter 15|29 pages

My Own Recollection of Their Lives

Visual Narratives of an Archival Reappropriation
ByCéline Gaille

chapter 16|25 pages

The Retornado as Archive of the Sensible in Contemporary Portuguese Artistic Practices

Between Transmemories, Nostalgias, and Possible Futures
ByMaria-Benedita Basto