Books and the colonial war: the role of political publishing in the debate on the Portuguese colonial project before April 25th and during the PREC (Ongoing Revolutionary Process)

Flamarion Maués (IFSP)

June 21, 2022, 14h30

CES | Sofia


Some political books published in Portugal in the 1960s and 1970s (before April 25th and during the PREC) played an important role in opposing the regime and denouncing the crimes, arbitrariness and violence committed by the dictatorship of Salazar and Caetano, contributing to the Portuguese having a clearer idea of the effects of the long authoritarian period on the country. Among these, books with criticisms and denunciations about the colonial war that began in 1961 stood out. The publication of these books took place even during the dictatorship, despite censorship, and grew after the 25th April Revolution, mainly during the period of the “Ongoing Revolutionary Process”.

On the other hand, there was also an important publishing movement to support the Portuguese colonialist policy, with the publication of many works defending and justifying the maintenance of the Overseas territories.

This seminar will address which publishers published these works in opposition or support of the Portuguese colonial policy, what were their relations with the political groups operating at the time and how such works played a political role in the debate and political struggles that took place on this central issue in the history of twentieth century Portugal.

Furthermore, a survey of the works edited on the subject between the beginning of the colonial war and the end of the PREC will be presented, including books in favour and against the Portuguese colonial policy during this period.

Bio note

Flamarion Maués | PhD and MA in History from the University of São Paulo (USP, Brazil), with post-doctoral internship at the same University. Professor at the Instituto Federal de São Paulo (IFSP), Registro campus, and associate member of the Instituto de História Contemporánea da Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Author of Livros que tomam partido: Edição e revolução em Portugal, 1968-80 (Lisbon, Parsifal, 2019) and Livros contra a ditadura: Editoras de oposição no Brasil, 1974-1984 (São Paulo, Publisher, 2013). He was editorial coordinator of Editora Fundação Perseu Abramo, linked to the Workers' Party, of Brazil, between 1997 and 2008. This work is the result of a post-doctoral project funded by the São Paulo State Research Support Foundation (FAPESP, process 2013/08668-0). The opinions, hypotheses and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of FAPESP.

Event co-organized in the context of the project CROME - Crossed Memories, Politics of Silence: The Colonial-Liberation Wars in Postcolonial Times with Cultra - Cooperativa Culturas do Trabalho e Socialismo. Part of the programme Abril é Agora.