"Putting them in their small place?" Brazilian migrants in Portugal and the challenges of the imperial discourses
(Institute of Social Sciences - University of Lisbon)
Paper short abstract:
Based the ethnographic investigation on Brazilian migrants living in Portugal, I intend to explore how the immigrant daily experiences in a former coloniser`s land are not just immersed set of mnemonic representations in tension, but they also challenge and transform them.
Paper long abstract:
In this paper I intend to explore how the immigrant daily experiences in a former coloniser`s land are not just immersed set of mnemonic representations in tension, but they also challenge and transform them. Taking in account the ethnographic investigation on Brazilian migrants living in Portugal, as well as the intense theoretical debate on the Portuguese Empire representation and its incorporation by the ex-colonies, I would like to discuss how the transnational mobility of these migrants carry an important dimension regarding memory, and how this affects the concrete daily lives of the immigrants in the receiving land. The transnational connection between Brazil and Portugal are of a particular kind, if we compare with other destinations Brazilians go. Because of the same language and assumed common ties historically built, both countries allow bi-directional flows of goods, people, images, although not necessarily in an equal way. But these connections have been also raising many ambiguities concerning mutual representations and practical changes, where history has always a contesting place. In the case of Brazilian migrants, this situation involve a significant tension in their routine negotiations. Thus, on one hand, Brazilians carry in their transit historical hegemonic narratives and mnemonic practices - on their own country and the on the Portuguese land - that suffer a constant reconfiguration upon their arrival in Portugal. On the other hand, the harsh negotiations to find a place in the new land involve different ways of living or facing this memory, according, for example, to class and gender issues.
Contested histories on the move: rethinking memory through mobility and agency