P05 – Portuguese and Spanish colonial press in Africa: memories, politics, and practices of Iberian colonization

22.05.2017, Auditorium 1, Tower B, FCSH

P05.A – 14.30-15.50 | P05.B – 16.00-17.20

Yolanda Aixelà – Institución Milà i Fontanals, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Spain

Rui Mateus Pereira – IHC, FCSH, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal

Ana Lúcia Pereira Sá – CEI-IUL, ISCTE-IUL, Portugal

Abstract: The press was one of the means that European colonial regimes in Africa used to represent places and populations and to support colonial occupation practices and politics. The producers and receivers of the messages were diverse and the press was key not only in building the images of the colonial world, but especially in producing the kind of knowledge that consolidated the domination and subalternization of the colonized societies. In this frame, we need to consider documents and texts of colonial press as creators of the colonial system and of the relations of power held by it. Through the analysis of official bulletins and means published by other colonial actors, such as religious congregations and colonialist associations, it is possible to rebuilt the memories of the leading figures of colonial history, to study the politics and practices that sustained the regimes, or to identify the events and agents who were considered as a threat to the colonial status quo.

The subject of the panel is Spanish and Portuguese cultural heritage in Africa made by newspapers, magazines, means of propaganda, and documentation produced by colonial authorities during the 20th century. The panel presents case studies on the implementation of colonial practices and politics, on the colonial daily life, and on the representation of colonial subjects. It also presents a comparative study of colonial practices in the Spanish and Portuguese overseas territories.

Keywords: Spanish and Portuguese Colonialism in Africa; Knowledge production; Colonial politics and practices

P05.A – 14.30-15.50

1. Yolanda Aixelà-Cabré – IMF-CSIC, Spain

A review of the colonial memories in the Spanish Protectorate of Morocco from the Press (1929-1936)

Nationalist actions in the press in the Spanish Protectorate were early in relation to the French Protectorate. Of particular note is the publication of the Arabic press and the dissemination of the nationalist cause through its commercialization. In general, these activities in the Spanish Protectorate were little known and valued in colonial historiography, so that this historical period of Morocco ended up being reconstructed from the colonial policies and practices of the French Protectorate and not so much from the experiences of Spanish, which also ignored the nationalist mobilization of the Spanish Zone.

A review of its contents and exchanges with the nationalists of the French Protectorate allows us to analyze the way that colonial memories were constructed and the mechanisms of resistance that activated the Moroccans against the French and Spanish colonial presence.

2. Araceli González Vázquez – IMF-CSIC, Spain   

From bandit to feudal baron: the image of Raisuni and the Moroccan resistance to colonialism in the Spanish press

The paper analyses the image of the Moroccan leader Ahmed Raisuni (1871-1935) in the Spanish press between 1912 and 1927. This was a period of strong Moroccan resistance to the Spanish colonialism. The paper analyses news about Raisuni actions and also four reports/interviews published in relevant Spanish newspapers (El Imparcial, El Heraldo de Madrid, La Nación y El Día). The paper considers, at a discursive and metadiscursive level, the role of the Spanish press in the spread of dominant perceptions of Raisuni’s leadership and also of other Moroccan leaders of the resistance to colonialism, especially in the years of the Rif War.

3. Pol Dalmau – European University Institute, Espanha

 “Our future lies in Africa”: Spanish colonialsm in Morocco and the periodical press

In the last decade, a new stream of research has emerged dedicated to studying the popular dimension of European colonialism. The point at stake in this field is the assumption that imperialism was not just the work of a few elites, nor a top-down process, but rather a phenomenon that required a minimum level of consent from society. By drawing on this debate, my presentation will examine the role of the mass press as an active agent in transforming public understandings about the Islamic world in Spain. Thus, if Benedict Anderson stressed the importance the press played in imagining the “nation”, less is known about how newspapers contributed to this process in their role of mediators between colonial contexts and domestic audiences. To tackle this question I shall focus on a little-known conflict, known as the “War of Melilla” (1893), to examine the ways in which the press contributed to popularizing new orientalist discourses of Morocco among the Spanish audience(s). In contrast to the traditional emphasis the literature makes on aggressive attitudes towards Moroccans, emphasis will be made on the multi-faceted and often-contradictory dimensions of the Spanish Orientalist discourse; and on how these discourses circulated and were re-adapted in multiple contexts (local, national and colonial).

Keywords: Mass press, Spanish colonialism, Morocco

4. Rocío Velasco De Castro – University of Extremadure, Espanha

 Spanish Colonial Press: A case study of  Revista de Tropas Coloniales

This paper is focused on Revista de Tropas Coloniales (1924-1936), a magazine founded in Ceuta as the voice of the Army of Africa during the so-called “pacification campaign” after the Annual disaster (1921). With Queipo de Llano as director and Franco as a member of the steering committee, this publication could be considered one of the best sources to know at first hand what should be the axes of the Spanish colonial policy from a proactive military point of view.

From the analysis of its pages it can be concluded the importance of the magazine for studying the aspirations of an increasingly influential Army of Africa in the conception of Spanish action in Morocco and in the political Spanish life as well. It may also introduce some key aspects of their ideological contradictions regarding the pragmatism of these military rebels during the Spanish civil war and the politics developed by Franco’s regime, especially as far as the pretended “Spanish-Moroccan brotherhood” is concerned.

Keywords: Spanish Morocco, Colonial Policy, Army of Africa

P05.B – 16.00-17.20

 5. Ana Lúcia Sá – CEI-IUL, ISCTE-IUL, Portugal

Representation of the “indígenas” in São Tomé and Fernando Poo: comparative analysis of the Portuguese and the Spanish colonial press

São Tomé and Fernando Pó were two colonies of exploitation – Portuguese and Spanish – in the Bight of Biafra. The plantation centred in cocoa demanded highly rentable labour. In such contexts, the indigenat regime and its labour code was imposed to the colonial subjects. These had identity features attributed by the regimes accordingly to the axes of “civilization” and work. The paper presents a comparative study on the representations of the “indígenas” in the Spanish and the Portuguese colonial press, inferring about the similitudes of the Iberian imperial rhetoric and colonial governance.

6. Rui Mateus Pereira – IHC, FSCH-UNL, Portugal

The “scientific occupation” in the colonial periodical press. The Boletim da Sociedade de Estudos da Colónia de Moçambique” (1931-1972)

The Sociedade de Estudos da Colónia de Moçambique (Society of Studies of the Colony of Mozambique) was a private association that aimed “to contribute for the study and economic valorisation of Mozambique and to contribute for the intellectual, moral and physic development of its inhabitants, in general, and especially of the associated”. In 1931 the first number of the Society’s Bulletin was published. With quarterly edition, it was published until Mozambique’s independence (1975). In the first decades, the Bulletin had a leading role in the sustenance of the local knowledge. This feature was in a dialectic contrast with the determinations of the scientific occupation made by the power centre through scientific missions lead by metropolitan scholars. It is important to analyse to what extent this local knowledge in diverse areas was in dissonance with the intents of the scientific occupation and the reasons (politic or others) for the disarticulation.

7. Simão Jaime – Arquivo Histórico de Moçambique – Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Moçambique

The Press of the Methodist Episcopal Church (MEC) in Mozambique and its colonization of African minds, from 1890 to 1968)

The Conference of Berlin (1885) opened a new era in the African continent. The colonialist powers shared Africa amongst them. One of the slogans that justified the occupation, was to save Africa from savagery, slave trade and ignorance, legitimizing, as such, the right of the Christian missions to develop their “civilizing” activities in Africa, while using the missionaries as agents of their country’s interests. It was in such context that MEC established itself in Mozambique in 1890, viewing conversion of its populations to Christianism. In their evangelising campaigns, MEC’s missionaries predicated against local cultural practices, viewing to eradicate them. To serve such aim, MEC founded a printing press for purposes of liturgical services, including newspapers. My paper aims to analyse and share the contents of some of MEC’s publications during the period of 1890-1968. My argument is that these contents were contrary to African reality and viewed the “colonization” of African minds, to allow a successful conversion.

Keywords: Christianism, Press, Culture, Evangelization, Conversion, Colonialism

8. Ambra Pinello – Università di Palermo, Italica

Colonial construction and justification: the dominant discourse in Legiones y Falanges

During the 20th century, European colonial regimes used numerous and different means in order to impose their politics and support their practices, and, as my research wants to show, in this frame the press played one of the most influential roles. In fact, drawing upon the magazine Legioni e Falangi. Rivista d’Italia e di Spagna/Legiones y Falanges. Revista mensual de Italia y de España (1940-43), this study aims at defining colonial press as paradigmatic of the relations between the dominant and the dominated and as an instrument of identity construction as well.

This study is part of a growing body of research leading on by the international network ‘MEMITA’ – “Memory, identity, integration to identify analysis models in media communication”, which proposes a reflection on the function of the press in shaping orientation, coaction and identitarian recovery. The goal of my work is to reveal that the analysis of colonial texts – and of Legiones y Falanges more in detail – is extremely useful to track, evaluate and recodify the past, recovering a historical memory that is indispensable for the construction of the present time. To achieve the purpose, I focused particular attention on the articles referring to Spanish colonization, examining, according to a critical discourse analysis approach, the way in which colonial authorities justify their military invasions, conquest and colonization.

Keywords: Press, colonialism, dominant discourse, identity


Ambra Pinello is a doctoral student in Literary, Linguistic and Historical-Cultural Studies at the University of Palermo with a project focusing on the power of the press in shaping national identity (“Il ruolo del discorso mediatico nella costruzione dell’identità nazionale: il caso di Legiones y Falanges, 1940-43”). She graduated cum laude in Modern Languages and Cultures in March 2012, after an Erasmus Scholarship at the University of Murcia La Merced (Spain). She holds a master degree in Languages and Literatures and, since December 2015, she is a member of the International Network ‘MEMITA’ – “Memory, identity, integration to identify analysis models in media communication”. She has recently attended international conferences and her essay entitled “Azorín en Legiones y Falanges: creador desengañado de microcosmos felices” has been published in the volume Identità, totalitarismo e stampa. Ricodifica linguistica-culturale dei media di regime, curated by C.Prestigiacomo, 2016.

Ana Lúcia Sá holds a Ph.D. in Sociology, is a Guest Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Policies and a researcher at the Centre for International Studies, at ISCTE – IUL. She is the director of the Masters Programme in African Studies at ISCTE-IUL. Her research is focused on state-society relations in African authoritarian regimes, such as Angola and Equatorial Guinea, and on colonial imprints in current social, cultural and political idiosyncrasies in African contexts. Her last publication is the chapter “The Concept of ‘Land’ in Bioko: ‘Land as Property’ and ‘Land as Country’” in the book Doing Conceptual History in Africa (ed. Axel Fleisch and Rhiannon Stephens, New York, Berghahn, 2016).

Araceli González Vázquez works as a Tenured Scientist at the Institució Milà i Fontanals of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in Barcelona. She holds a PhD in History from the University of Cantabria (2010), a BA in Social Anthropology from the University of Deusto (2004) and both a BA and MA in History from the University of Cantabria (1999, 2005). She has previously worked (2016-2017) as a “Juan de la Cierva” Postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Languages and Cultures of the Mediterranean and the Near East (ILC) of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in Madrid; at the University of the Basque Country (2013-14) in Vitoria-Gasteiz, and at the Laboratoire d´Anthropologie Sociale of the Collège de France (2011-12) in Paris.

Pol Dalmau received his PhD from the European University Institute (Florence) and is now Research Fellow at the Cañada Blanch Centre at the London School of Economics. His forthcoming book focuses on a Barcelona’ renowned family of press proprietors who founded one of Spain’s oldest and top-selling papers today (“La Vanguardia”). It examines how the members of this family took advantage of the press to gain national prominence and expand their interest to Spanish colonial dominions in the Caribbean and the North of Africa. In so doing, his book seeks to reveal the connections between mass media, colonialism and politics in Modern Spain and places them in a European and transnational perspective.

Rocío Velasco de Castro Ph D. Dissertation. Program: Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Seville. Master of Arts in Contemporary History, UNED (National Distance Education University). Specialist in Contemporary Maghreb History, UNED. Professional Expert on Islamic Culture, Civilisation and Religion, UNED. Bachelor of Arts. Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Seville. Assistant Professor (University of Extremadure, since 2007). Lecture of Spanish (University Abdelmalek Essaadi of Tetouan, 2006). Associate Professor (University of Seville, 2001-2005). Visiting Professor: Università degli studi di Napoli L’Orientale (Italy), Université d’Artois (France).Research interest: Contemporary History of the Arab World, Spanish-Moroccan relations, Moroccan Nationalism, colonial and postcolonial process in the Arab World and Arab and Islamic Feminists Movements.

Rui M. Pereira received a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Universidade Nova de Lisboa and is currently an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas – FCSH), Lisbon, and Integrated Resercher at the Institute of Contemporary History (Instituto de História Contemporânea – IHC). His current research interests include the history of anthropological practices in the colonial context, colonial policies, anthropology of war. He is also engaged in museums and museology, contemporary art and art theory of Africa. He has conducted archival and ethnographic research in Mozambique, Portugal and Brazil and curated several exhibitions of African art and ethnographic collections and edited many catalogues.

Simão Jaime (Mafuaiana, Inhambane, Mozambique, 1964). is graduated in History by the University Eduardo Mondlane, MA and PhD in Ethnic and African Studies by the Federal University of Bahia. Heads the Department of Archives and Special Collections of the Historical Archive of Mozambique. Participates regularly in National and International Seminaries and Conferences and has a vast research curriculum, namely dedicated to Mozambican culture and to oral sources. Published several books and articles. Speaks and writes Portuguese, English, Xitswa, Xangana, Ronga, Chope and Bitonga.

Yolanda Aixelà Cabré Since 2008 she is a Tenured Scientist at IMF (Barcelona) of the Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC). PhD in Cultural Anthropology. Her fieldwork has been in Egypt, Morocco, Equatorial Guinea and Spain, and multi-sited ethnography in Switzerland, England, the Netherlands, Cameroon and South Africa. Since 1999, she has participated in 16 Spanish research programmes and 1 Consolider project, 4 directed by Aixelà. She is the author and/or co-editor of 11 books and 68 book chapters and articles in national and international journals, many indexed in different types of quartile.

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