Accepted Paper:

(Re)discovering alternative utopias: Mozambique as "the pearl of the Indian Ocean"  

Author:

Elena Brugioni (Universidade do Minho)

Paper short abstract:

By underlining the diachronic evolution of the imaginary definition of Mozambique as "The Pearl of the Indian Ocean", I aim to problematize its articulation within the cultural context, emphasizing the apparent double bind that seems to characterize its use, meaning and agency.

Paper long abstract:

The image of Mozambique as "The Pearl of the Indian Ocean" — A Pérola do Índico — represents one of the most common expressions used to define the country within the official — both political and cultural — discourse. Already in use during the Colonial era (Correia, 1953), the image survived to the independence and still represents an "iconographic metaphor" frequently employed to define the country, in a number of different situations, contexts and discourses, within the so called public space (Brito, 2010). At the same time, the very meaning, or better saying, the "agency" of this image seems to point to a number of ambiguities, particularly suggested by the claiming of the sea implied by the expression, thus pointing to a sort of "alternative national utopia" which will be examined in this paper via the consideration of different l representational practices. By underlining the diachronic evolution of this imaginary definition of Mozambique, I aim to problematize its articulation within the cultural context, emphasizing the apparent double bind that seems to characterize its use, meaning and agency.

Panel P083
Revolution 3.0: iconographies of utopia in Africa and its diaspora