Accepted paper:

Mozambique - a gift of memories for my mother


Manuela Gonzaga (CHAM-NOVA FCSH-UAc)

Paper short abstract:

Once we lived in Mozambique. How did it happen? How were people selected to live overseas? And how was life there? My paper deals not only with memories but raises many questions on the life in the Portuguese colonial era.

Paper long abstract:

I would like to submit a paper about some aspects of daily life in Mozambique lived during the sixties and seventies, covering experiences gained not only in the Niassa province in the North but also in Lourenço Marques/Maputo in the South.

The proposed lecture/record is based on personal memories, experiences, and subsequent research.

It showcases experiences as seen by the eyes of a 12-year-old girl who leaves for Mozambique with her mother and three siblings. It explores the experiences gained during a trip to Nacala, in first class, followed by a challenging train trip, and travel aboard an old van, finalising in a remote town, Vila Cabral/Lichinga where the mother, Maria Leonor Vieira Paixão, was stationed as a music and choral singing teacher.

The narrative starts with a wish by the author's mother, who at the time was already in advanced stages of Alzheimer's, who wanted to recall the happiest times of her life and her deep attachment to the country she loved the most. Mozambique.

The request by the author's mother, led to these memories being published in a book (Bertrand Editora), thus perpetuating a kind of common legacy for the future. A legacy that the publishing industry ignored for many years, motivating the author, a dedicated historian, to search further the "Why's", "How's" "Where's" and "When's" of a past Portuguese colonial era.

panel P32
History: foundations and current readings