Postcolonial Objects of Collective Re-membering among Portuguese Muslims of Indian and Mozambican origins

Pereira, Ana Catarina Valdigem Jacinto. 2016. Postcolonial Objects of Collective Re-membering among Portuguese Muslims of Indian and Mozambican origins. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

More than 40 years after the end of Portuguese colonialism, those who migrated from the former colonies in Africa to Portugal remain silenced and forgotten as if they were not part of a colonial project that forged an imperial nation overseas. At least a third of these subjects were actually descendants of white Portuguese people as well as of populations of different faiths, skin colours and ethnic and cultural backgrounds, who were migrating for the first time to an unfamiliar country. Among them were Muslims of both Indian and Mozambican origin who have, since colonial times, been portrayed as the Muslim, racialized and ethnic Other, and whose senses of belonging have not been voiced, heard nor properly understood. As such research is required, within the framework of the Lusophone postcolonial critique. This thesis aims to contribute to this critical approach by providing a ethnography of the postcolonial material, affective, sensory and bodily ways through which these postcolonial subjects, and their descendants already born in Postcolonial Portugal, have been reproducing and negotiating collective memories of belonging. It departs from the assumption that one cannot understand people’s belonging without going beyond the simplistic identity categories often used to label them. Therefore it adopts a phenomenology of material culture and experience in order to understand how these subjects have been re-appropriating and reconstructing general ideas of Indian-ness, Muslim-ness, Mozambican-ness and Portuguese-ness across generations, particularly when engaging with a multiplicity of objects that integrate into their everyday life, namely objects of home décor, food and media. This thesis results from fieldwork conducted over a period of 12 months in these subjects’ current public and private contexts of conviviality, such as the Lisbon Central Mosque and their family homes. Biographical interviews and visual methods were also applied to two generations (parent and child) from the 11 family-household units collaborating in this research.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


Lusophone Postcolonial Critique, Portuguese Muslims of Indian and Mozambican origins, Collective Memory, Belonging, Sensuous and Tasteful Ethnography, Phenomenology of Material Culture and Experience

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


31 August 2016

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

07 Sep 2016 12:51

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 11:41


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