P06 – Sports in Portuguese Colonial Press

22.05.2017, 17.40-19.00, Auditorium 1, Tower B, FCSH-UNL

Augusto Nascimento – Universidade de Lisboa, Brazil

Victor Andrade de Melo – Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Marcelo Bittencourt – Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil

Abstract: Recent studies call up attention to the importance of history of sports at the Portuguese colonies. At the beginning, the practice of sports was synonym of refinement of the uses of the Portuguese colonizers and of those individuals of other nationalities. Afterwards, practice would be mobilized by African groups and associations which fought for social, cultural and of black civilization – groups that, not rarely, served as a stage of awareness for individuals later involved in pro-independence insurgencies. Sports ended up being used by governments to reinforce colonial ties. Apart from these political dimensions, sports activities were one of the main leisure options of populations – settlers, “civilized”, “indigenous” – in territories which social configuration tended to be, although not declared, resistant to the diffusion of sports as it collided with rigid social relations. Press registered such daily initiatives, at the same time it helped to build meanings to the phenomenon, namely those related with the expectations of the colonial power. Yet, also criticized the lack of investment, serving as a vehicle of the claims expressed by associations and local sports leaderships. This panel aims to evaluate the approach to sports by the press in the Portuguese colonies in Africa and to deepen its different and, often, contradictory political and social meanings through the different circumstances of colonialism.

Keywords: Sports, Leisure, Empire

1. Andrea Marzano – Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Sports and leisure in Luanda’s press: notes for a Social History of Culture

This paper aims to analyse, through the press of Luanda, leisure and sports practices present in the city between the last decades dos the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century. Taken to Angola by the Europeans but seized by the elites of the soil, these forms of sociability acquired distinct characteristics, marked by hybridism, and ended up raising the interest of the rest of the population. Researching, throught the press, conflicts and sharings induced by sports and leisure, it is aimed to approach nevralgic spots of colonial presence in Luanda.

Keywords: Sports, leisure, Luanda, colonial expansion

2. Aurélio Rocha – Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Moçambique

Sports press in the colonial era

In Moçambique, cultural and recreational associativism had in the local press the indispensable support for its dissemination and affirmation. The press, along with education, was constituted in the privileged space of expansion and popularization for recreational and leisure in its most diverse expressions, including sports. The popularization of sport, especially soccer, accelerated its developmemt and institutionalization in competitive terms over all areas of the country (Portuguese colony), where small groups began to develop sports activities, which were disseminating locally. The sports news emerge practically with the first generalist newspapers of the first three decades of the 20th century, who published with some regularity news about the sporting activities practiced in the various communities and sports venues. The sportive information assumed autonomous character when they began to publish sports newspapers, almost always of short duration, extending into the second half of the 20th century second half through pages, sections and supplements, as well as magazines and bulletins of clubs, some of them of remarkable persistence and acuity. As in the press in general, also in the sportive pressnewspapers and journalists has also created newspapers and journalists were distinguished with a past of struggle past that can not be forgotten, nor ignored the risks that in the colonial era, especially during the Estado Novo, ran great figures of journalism whose daring and integrity led some of them to unemployment, to exile and emprisonment. It was in some of these newspapers that the most critical voices that sought to fight for the affirmation of blacks in sport and the end of racial segregation that caracterised sport, namely football, in Moçambique. These are the issues which, together with information on the historical evolution of the sports press, will be examined in these communication.

Keywords: Associative movement, sports association, clubs, press, sports press, identity

 3. João Pedro Lourenço – Biblioteca Nacional de Angola, Angola

 ‘We also want Independence’. The role of sports in the period of transition in Angola: an analysis based on the press

Sport and sportsmen, similarly to other sectors of Angolan colonial society, had a great intervention in the process of political transition in Angola. Ignored by most historiography, their action manifested on the days after the 25th of April with and amnesty of the sportsmen irradiated or with other type of sanctions, with the “cleansing” of the institutions related with sport, the problem of sports facilities and latter with political positioning regarding its structure and the necessity of being independent. The analysis of coeval press, allows us a panorama of the different modalities that had official and regular competitions, amongst which stand out football, basketball, swimming, handball, hockey skates and motorized sports. It is easy to verify that there were senior, junior and starting provincial and district competitions; along with “federated” sports there was school sports and for workers. When the Revolution of the Carnations occurred, competitions were in their middle circle, in some cases, end ending up, on others, and they continued normally, exception made to the ones that were under the tutelage of Mocidade Portuguesa (Portuguese Youth). With the extinctions of this organization in Angola, for example, several swimming competitions had to be cancelled and they were later performed under the responsibilitiy of other institutions.

One of the most active collectivises of this period was that of the teachers of physical education, which demanded the dismissal of the previous responsible and organized a trade union to defend their class interests. In the measure that the political and military situation was aggravating the practice of sports became more difficult, which also was affected and followed the dynamic, particularly after the settling of the liberation movements in Luanda and other districts. By the end of the transition period, press shows how the exit of the white community affected the different competitions, as well as the political orientation that sports gained between July and November 1975.

Keywords: Sports, cleansing, independence, press

 4. Nuno Domingos – ICS, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal

Sport in José Craveirinha’s journalism

The Mozambican poet José João Craveirinha, born in 1922 in Maputo, maintained a constant journalistic activity throughout his life. This dimension of his work is less known than his literary career, which consecrated him as one of the most important Portuguese-language authors. Craveirinha collaborated in several periodical publications, namely in O Brado Africano, Itinerário, Notícias, Mensagem, Notícias do Bloqueio and Caliban. In these collaborations, sport was one of its most recurrent themes. His interest in sports was not limited to the description of sports competitions, which he narrated to some of the newspapers where he worked. Craveirinha considered sport one of the most notorious means to evaluate the African’s ability to recreate games brought to Africa by the European colonizer. Therefore, Craveirinha used the game as a means of interpreting a wider process of urbanization, but also as a political instrument to criticize the colonial system. In some of his articles this research program, necessarily limited by the newspaper length, was developed. It is about these newspaper pieces that this presentation proposes to speak.

Keywords: Mozambique, sports, José Craveirinha, resistance

  5. Victor Andrade Melo – Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

The sport in the colonial press of Cape Verde and Portuguese Guinea

There are significant differences in the development of sport in Cape Verde and in Portuguese Guinea, which is related to the diverse economic and cultural structuring time of each of these African colonies. While in the archipelago, the practice has developed since the nineteenth century and was constantly mobilized in the construction of a local identity that was not established as a reason for breaking with the metropolis, in the second province the sport began to be structured from the 1930s and in the final years of colonialism dramatized more intensely the conflicts for the independence that took control of the Guinean territory. In both, the press played an important role in the structuring of the sports field, acting as a mediator between the agents’ demands (players, leaders and technicians) and the governmental intentions. This communication aims to discuss the representations of these chroniclers, looking at them not only as aligned with metropolitan interests, but also as an expression of the tensions surrounding the colonial experience.

Keywords: Colonialism. Sports. Identity


Andrea Marzano is a professor of African History in the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UniRio). Author of Cidade em cena: o ator Vasques, o teatro e o Rio de Janeiro (1839-1892), 2008; and editor, with Victor Andrade de Melo, of Vida divertida: histórias do lazer no Rio de Janeiro (1830-1930), 2010. She is currently developing research about Luanda between 1870 and 1930, from the perspective of the Social History of Culture, and has published several articles on the subject.

Augusto Nascimento is a researcher at the History Center of the University of Lisbon. He is a collaborator of the International Studies Center of ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, of the Center for African Studies of the University of Porto and of the Institute of Contemporary History of the New University of Lisbon. He is author of books on São Tomé and Príncipe.

Aurélio Rocha is Professor and Researcher in the Department of History and Political Science and Public Administration/Faculty of Human and Social Sciences/Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique). He is Member of the Centre for African Studies/Eduardo Mondlane University. He published the following books: Associativismo e Nativismo. Contribuições para o Estudo das Origens do Nacionalismo Moçambicano, 1900-1940, de 2002; Moçambique, História e Cultura, de 2006, e Maputo, Cidade das Acácias, de 2009.

João Pedro da Cunha Lourenço graduated in Educational Sciences, major in History in Agostinho Neto University.  Has a Master in Initiation to History Research by the Autonomous University of Barcelona and a PhD in History at the National University of Distance Education of Spain. He published texts related to the history of the Angolan press and the struggle for national liberation. Currently, is Professor of History of Angola at the Higher Institute of Education Sciences and Director of the National Library of Angola.

Marcelo Bittencourt is a professor of African History in the Program of Graduate Studies in Social History, in the Fluminense Federal University (UFF). Coordinator of Center of African Studies (NEAF). Author of Sport and Leisure in Africa: new looks (2013), More than a game: sport and African continent (2011). “We are together!” The MPLA and the anti-colonial struggle, 1961-1974 (2008). From newspapers to arms. Trajectories of the Angolan defense (1999).

Nuno Domingos is Researcher at the Institute of Social Sciences at the University of Lisbon. PhD in social anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies. He has published Football and Colonialism, Body and Popular Culture in Mozambique. (2012) and edited, with Elsa Peralta, City and Empire. Colonial dynamics and postcolonial reconfigurations (2012).

Victor Andrade de Melo is a professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, where he works in the Graduate Programs in Comparative History and Education. He is coordinator of Sport: Laboratory of History of Sport and Leisure. He is the author of the book Identity games: the sport in Cape Verde (2011) and co-organizer of Sport and leisure in Africa: new looks, with Marcelo Bittencourt, Nuno Domingos and Augusto Nascimento (2013), and of More than a game: sport and the African continent, with Marcelo Bittencourt and Augusto Nascimento (2010)

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