An Oral History of the Portuguese Colonial War: Conscripted by Ângela Campos

By Ângela Campos

This ebook explores the lived reminiscence of the Portuguese colonial struggle (1961-1974) in the course of the research of thirty-six oral historical past interviews with ex-combatants of this clash. The meanings that the fighters attributed to their struggle studies then and now are the book’s analytical concentration. This undertaking seeks to respond to the next questions: how has the general public reminiscence of this colonial clash constructed in Portugal from 1974 to nearly 2010? what concerns does an oral historian stumble upon whilst engaging in interviews with veterans on a earlier that is still anxious for plenty of? what have been – and are – the main major elements of the conflict event and its aftermath for the veterans? how do the veterans understand their workforce identification and their old state of affairs? and what cutting edge views does oral historical past provide to the historiography of the Portuguese colonial war?

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It revealed how the veterans interviewed composed memories “they can live with,” selecting aspects of their experience that could be articulated through public narratives10—basically, the words, signs, and symbols in the public field of representations that translate their perceived identity. This notion of composure highlights the role played by our culture, society, and state in framing and articulating our subjective memories, illuminating how individuals negotiate and are affected by shifting forms, meanings, and social priorities expressed in public perception.

34 In a context of long-term and widespread public amnesia and indifference, this task is not without difficulties, and the veterans’ memories and identities are affected both on a personal and social level by the lack of public acknowledgment of their war experience. The fact that this experience has not been readily recognized also assumes, in the Portuguese case, salience in claims for social justice. For many veterans, lack of recognition translates into inaccessibility to practical benefits such as pensions, disability allowances, health care, and other forms of social support.

Thomson (London: Routledge, 2nd edition, 2006), 43–53. 32. See pertinent studies by Ashplant et al.  Dawson Making Peace with the Past? Memories, Trauma and the Irish Troubles (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007), 62. A. Portelli “What Makes Oral History Different,” in The Oral History Reader, ed.  Thomson (London: Routledge, 2006), 32–42. 34. It should be noted that the aesthetic arena (mainly from the perspective of visual, plastic, and performative arts) was not explored in detail.

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