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Dossier "What Solidarity? Networks of Cooperation with the Liberation Movements from Portuguese Colonies"

What Solidarity? Networks of Cooperation with the Liberation Movements from Portuguese Colonies. An Introduction

Iolanda Vasile, Aurora Almada e Santos e Corrado Tornimbeni
p. 127-130

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Edited by Scott M. Culp

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1This thematic dossier of the Revista Crítica de Ciências Sociais (RCCS) is the second output of the international conference “International Solidarities and the Struggle for Independence in the Portuguese Colonies”, held in Lisbon on June 30 and July 1, 2016 at the Institute of Contemporary History at Universidade NOVA de Lisboa (UNL). The event was organized by UNL, ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon, the University of Paris-Sorbonne (Paris-IV), the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the University of Bologna, the University of Coimbra and the West University of Timioara. Funding was received from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology.

2The first result of this conference was the special issue “International Solidarities and the Liberation of the Portuguese Colonies”, published in Afriche e Orienti, no. 3 (Santos et al., 2017), which brought together seven articles scrutinizing the relationships between the liberation movements of Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau and countries such as the former Yugoslavia and Algeria, and with international organizations, notably the United Nations (UN) and the European Community (EC), and still other organizations from countries such as the United States, Brazil and Switzerland.

3This thematic dossier of RCCS brings forward three comprehensive articles on Yugoslavia and both East and West Germany’s take on solidarity, public opinion and colonialism in the former Portuguese African colonies of Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau. The articles employ mostly a historical-cultural approach that lays the groundwork for a larger debate on how the image of Portuguese colonialism, and the struggle for independence in Angola and Mozambique more specifically, were constructed in film and in public opinion, through either solidarity movements or actions meant to support the liberation movements in these countries.

4In her article, “We Shall Win: Yugoslav Film Cooperation with FRELIMO”, Radina Vučetić analyzes the cinematic cooperation between the former Yugoslavia and Mozambique through the lens of the documentaries made by the Yugoslav film company Filmske novosti in the FRELIMO camps and in Mozambique’s liberated areas. In choosing the Yugoslav film We Shall Win by Dragutin Popović as a case study, “the first documentary about the liberated regions in Mozambique and the military and political role of FRELIMO”, Vučetić introduces pertinent comparisons with the previous cooperation between Yugoslavia and Algeria. As a plus, the article distinguishes between the 1967 documentary and the later post-independence documentaries made either with Yugoslav contributions or by other foreign collaborators in Mozambique.

5Fernando Clara’s “Notes on Twentieth-Century German Public Opinion, Colonialism and the Portuguese Colonies (a Tentative Approach)” examines the discussions on both Portuguese colonialism and colonialism at large in twentieth-century Germany. Based on an array of works, the article offers a historic but mostly cultural framing of the complex German-Portuguese relations before and after World War II and points to a complex and not at all linear positionality in defense of and opposition to Portuguese colonial rule in its African territories at the time.

6“West German Solidarity Movements and the Struggle for Decolonization of Lusophone Africa”, written by Nils Schliehe, maps the West German heterogeneous solidarity groups that supported the liberation movements in the former Portuguese colonies. Considering the private and often brief character of such groupings, the article uses a mosaic of sources to recount their emergence in the 1960s, their genealogy until the 1970s, and their forms of protests.

7The RCCS articles dialogue with and complement the Afriche e Orienti no. 3 (2017) since they bring forward new case studies from a fresh perspective, considering the use of archival resources that have been unexplored to date. Vučetić builds on Alba Martín Luque’s (2017) analysis of Robert van Lierop’s documentary A luta continua, exploring the continuities and differences in international film’s level of solidarity with FRELIMO. Clara and Schliehe expand the scope of studies by Natalija Dimic, Gisele Lobato, Tramor Quemeneur and Sabina Widmer on the nature of solidarity shown by Western and Socialist governments, organizations and people towards the Portuguese colonies (Dimić, 2017; Lobato, 2017; Quemeneur, 2017; Widmer, 2017). Both papers are a reminder of the multiplicity of forces involved in the support to the national liberation movements but also point to the resistance to international solidarity, whose contradictions became increasingly evident at world forums such as the UN and EC, as previously highlighted by Aurora Almada e Santos (2017) and Lorenzo Ferrari (2017).

8In addition to the articles, the thematic dossier comprises two book reviews. David Castaño brings us an assessment of Pedro de Pezarat Correia’s book … da descolonização. Do protonacionalismo ao pós-colonialismo, published in 2018. Arguing that the book reintroduced many of the author’s previous considerations, Castaño nonetheless explains that it is a valuable contribution to understanding what the Portuguese military officials were thinking and how they acted, which indeed played a pivotal role in the end of Portuguese colonialism. Caio Simões de Araújo also points to the contributions that Bernardo Futscher Pereira makes to the existing literature on the Portuguese diplomatic efforts to win support for its colonial policy. According to Araújo, Crepúsculo do colonialismo: a diplomacia do Estado Novo (1949-1961) explores the diplomatic and transnational history of Portuguese decolonization, bringing new perspectives on the subject.

9Finally, this thematic dossier includes Bogdan C. Iacob’s presentation on the Socialism Goes Global website. Iacob offers insights on the dynamic of the international project “Socialism Goes Global: Cold War Connections between the ‘Second’ and ‘Third Worlds’” and its website resources, which are designed to draw attention to current developments in the research on global encounters in the second half of the twentieth century.

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Dimić, Natalija (2017), Achievements and Limitations of Yugoslavia’s Policy in Angola during 1960s and 1970s”, Afriche e Orienti, 3, 9-30.

Ferrari, Lorenzo (2017), “The European Community as an Opposer of the Portuguese Colonial Rule: Debates and Initiatives, 1970-74”, Afriche e Orienti, 3, 69-84.

Lobato, Gisele (2017), “The Strange Case of Brazilian Support to the FNLA in the Final Stage of Angolan Decolonization (1975)”, Afriche e Orienti, 3, 31-48.

Luque, Alba Martín (2017), “International Shaping of a Nationalist Imagery? Robert van Lierop, Eduardo Mondlane and A luta continua”, Afriche e Orienti, 3, 115-138.

Quemeneur, Tramor (2017), “The French Networks Helping the Independence Movements of Portuguese Colonies. From the Algerian War to Third-Worldism”, Afriche e Orienti, 3, 85-100.

Santos, Aurora Almada e (2017), “‘Not Inclined to Be in a Secondary Position’: The Soviet Union and the Portuguese Colonial Issue at the United Nations”, Afriche e Orienti, 3, 49-68.

Santos, Aurora Almada e; André, Bernardo Capamba; Tornimbeni, Corrado; Vasile, Iolanda (eds.) (2017), Afriche e Orienti, 3, “International Solidarities and the Liberation of the Portuguese Colonies”.

Widmer, Sabina (2017), “Switzerland’s Neutrality Policy in Southern Africa on the Defensive: The Swiss Government’s Reactions to Non-State Actors’ Solidarity with the Independence Struggles in the Portuguese Colonies, 1968-1974”, Afriche e Orienti, 3, 101-114.

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Referência do documento impresso

Iolanda Vasile, Aurora Almada e Santos e Corrado Tornimbeni, «What Solidarity? Networks of Cooperation with the Liberation Movements from Portuguese Colonies. An Introduction»Revista Crítica de Ciências Sociais, 118 | 2019, 127-130.

Referência eletrónica

Iolanda Vasile, Aurora Almada e Santos e Corrado Tornimbeni, «What Solidarity? Networks of Cooperation with the Liberation Movements from Portuguese Colonies. An Introduction»Revista Crítica de Ciências Sociais [Online], 118 | 2019, publicado a 26 abril 2019, consultado a 21 junho 2024. URL:; DOI:

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Iolanda Vasile

Investigadora Júnior no Centro de Estudos Sociais da Universidade de Coimbra
Colégio de S. Jerónimo, Largo D. Dinis, Apartado 3087, 3000-995 Coimbra, Portugal

Aurora Almada e Santos

Instituto de História Contemporânea, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas
Universidade NOVA de Lisboa
Av. Berna, 26 C, 1069-061 Lisboa, Portugal

Corrado Tornimbeni

Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche e Sociali, Università di Bologna
Strada Maggiore 45, Bologna, Italia

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