Accepted Paper:

Remembering and forgetting the empire: addressing trauma through arts and literature  
Elsa Peralta (Center for Comparative Studies - Faculty of Arts, University of Lisbon)

Paper long abstract:

The centre of an empire which spread over four continents and covered a time-span of nearly six centuries, historically Portugal's pervasive self-image is that of an imperial nation. As such, the loss of the empire must have been felt by the political elites and by the Portuguese in general as an amputation in the nation's soul. Several analysts note, though, that instead the Portuguese felt that loss with an astonishing indifference. The often heralded identity crisis never seemed to occur and a sort of amnesia was welcomed when addressing this national past. In recent years though, over nearly four decades after the end of the empire, works in popular literature and in the artistic field seem to be acting productively in the exposure of the wounds left by the end of the empire, especially exploring the traumas caused by the colonial wars that put an end to the colonial rule.

Panel W067
Memory of crises and traumas: evocations, representations, reclamations in social communication, and cultural creativity