P12 – “(Anti)colonial conflicts” in the Portuguese Colonial Empire

24.05.2017, 12.00-13.20, Amphitheater III,  FLUL

Organization of the Congress

Abstract: Anticolonial conflicts had a fundamental role in the construction of colonial press, as several papers of this congress evidence. In their most tense forms these conflicts had diverse configurations, from revolts against the rush of the State in the daily life of populations, mutinies, resistance wars against occupation, real conspiracies or forged by the colonial power, until the liberation fights. The contexts dictated their varied visibility in the press. In any case, the control imposed by the Colonial State over the press dictated the difficulty in forging alternative visions and narratives about these conflicts, to those presented by the colonial power. In such cases, it would be mainly the press published in clandestinely or in exile to expose these alternative views, when the contexts allowed so. As for colonial power these were always occasions in which tended to intensify its propaganda and vigilance action, when not of persecution of dissonant voices. With his panel we aim to create a space dedicated to the discussion of these matters.

Keywords: Anticolonial conflicts, Clandestine press, Exile press, Anticolonial press

1. Patrícia Valim, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Brasil

Between reform and revolution: the manuscript bulletins and political culture in the 1789 Conjuration of Bahia

On the morning of August 12, 1798, the city of Bahia, as Salvador was called in colonial times, was surprised by the publication of handwritten newsletters affixed in public places of great circulation, in order to announce to the population the insurrection that would institute the “Bahinense Democratic Republic”. In a society of the Old Regime governed by slavery, the slogans of the French Revolution, such as Freedom and Equality, broke the privileged circuit of information and political doing, re-signifying ideas and creating connections in the public sphere between the written text and the oral tradition of popular culture. When they broke this privileged circuit, free men, the poor and the crioullos gave political meaning to the reality in which they lived, criticized the natural inequality between men and were hanged and quartered in a public square, accused of the crime of Lesae Majestatis.

Keywords: Manuscript bulletins, Reform, Revolution, Colonial System

2. Sílvia Torres, CIC.Digital, FCSH, UNL

There is war in Mozambique: the Portuguese overseas conflict, the Notícias newspaper of Lourenço Marques and the reporter Guilherme de Melo

The Colonial War reached the Mozambican press through the official notes, with scarce and factious information about the conflict. Guilherme de Melo, at the service of the Notícias newspaper, did not see in this official information the human side of war, the voice of the soldiers that fought in it. This void took him to the stage of operations. Through reports, chronicles and opinion articles, as well as a weekly supplement he created, entitled “Coluna em Marcha” (meaning “Column in March”), dedicated exclusively to the Portuguese military, the journalist highlighted the conflict, always favoring the “heroes” from Portugal in disfavor of the “bandits” that attacked the Lusitanian territory. Aside from exposing, in text and image, one of the sides of the conflict that was developing in Mozambique, he lead the military to read the daily Notícias and to be at his service. He became known and influential for his war reports and was one of the journalists trusted by the Estado Novo regime, scarcely troubling censorship. For Guilherme de Melo war was necessary to defend the united Portugal from Minho to Timor and, despite not all felt it, it was his duty to remind them of its existence. He was voluntarily a partial reporter – censorship would not allow another side of the facts – and he was also a reporter that gathered information about the Colonial War in its Mozambican stage. 

Keywords: Guilherme de Melo, Colonial War, Notícias newspaper, war journalism, Mozambique, censorship, portuguese colonial periodical press

3. Alda Romão Saúte Saíde, Universidade Pedagógica, Moçambique

The press and the colonial war/liberation fight in Mozambique: the case of the newspaper Ressurgimento, 1968-1973

Marcelo Caetano became President of the Government of Portugal and Overseas in 26 September 1968, when war was escalating in the Portuguese colonies. When ascending to power, in face of the colonial question, reinforced the Overseas defense policy. In Mozambique, with the growing of the military and political situation, Caetano introduced some cosmetic changes, being an example the new name of the political police, which changed from PIDE (International Police for the Defense of the State)to DGS (General-Direction of Security). In the prison system it was introduced a vast psych-social program for political prisoners, which included, amongst other measures, the creation of a newspaper (Ressurgimento which means resurgence) where these prisoners were compelled to confess being repentant, Portuguese and patriots! In fact the newspaper Ressurgimento, published by ‘repentant’ political prisoners did not view the fellow prisoners but the Mozambican populations from the districts more affected by ‘subversion’, for external public opinion, in particular the countries that surrounded Mozambique, and to the headquarters of FRELIMO in Dar-es-Salaam. The present study aims to analyze the contents of the newspaper Ressurgimento viewing the following enquiry: the newspaper as a historical document; as instrument of propaganda of the colonial system; its role as a document, which opens to a multitude of reading that may surpass the colonial context.

Keywords: Ressurgimento, colonial war, terrorists, DGS, rehabilitation, motherland

4. Helena Lima- Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto, Portugal, Olívia Pestana – Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto, Portugal

The lost of the Portuguese colonies in India – news environments in the Diário e Notícias and the Jornal do Comércio

The end of the Portuguese colonial occupation in India occured after confronts at the diplomatic level and of some military skirmishes. The invasion of Goa by Indian forces, in 18 December 1961, ended Portuguese pretentions on the territory and culminated a process of increasing tensions that were reported by the press of the Union. The discomfort lived in the Indian colony was also theme in the Portuguese newspapers. The news environments adopted different narrative strategies and specific discursive focus. At the journalistic field, the professional practice uses remission to the source as strategy of objectivity. Yet, and in this case, the systematic use of agencies may imply the notion of a previously treated information and not direct, namely in the use of Lusitânia and of ANI as almost exclusive sources of information. News hierarchization is another of the processes of inevitable frameworke, as the front page headlines and the volume of news indicates the value-news of the theme or its devaluation.

This paper presents the analysis of the Diário de Notícias and of Jornal do Comércio, published in the month of December 1961, using the method of initial quantitive analysis, aiming to understand, through a grid of contents and of subject indexing, which were the journalistic strategies used; followed by the analysis of contents directed to discursive elements.

Keywords: colonial occupation, invasion of Goa, analysis of content


Alda Romão Saúte Saíde is Associate Professor at the Pedagogic University of Mozambique. Graduate in History and Geography by the University Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique, and PhD in African History by the University of Minnesota, USA. Lecturer in Economic History, History of Africa and Regional History at the BA and MA levels. She is also a senior researcher of the Centre for Political Analysis of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University Eduardo Mondlane. Her fields of interest are: Decolonization/Liberation struggles, Governance (municipality and participatory governance), Christian missions, Education, Gender and labor migration.

Helena Lima is Assistant Professor at Faculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto and the director of the Master Course of Communication Sciences, She is a published author of several published articles, books and chapters on media history and co-author of several books on journalism and digital journalism. The current research interests are on journalism contents and professional practices and the study of political communication.

Patrícia Valim is graduated in Pedagogy (1996) and in History (2003) by Santo André Foundation. Master in Social History (2007) and PhD in Economic History (2013), by the University of São Paulo. Adjunct Professor of History of Colonial Brazil in the History Department of UFBA. Her research is focused on History of Brazil Colony and Economic History, mainly in the following subjects: History of Bahia; Production, Circulation and Consumption in Colonial Brazil, Insurgents and Political Culture in Colonial Brazil; Colonial Administration; Bahian Conjuration of 1798; Struggles for Political Independence in Bahia.

Silvia Torres is PhD student in Communication Sciences – Study of Media and Journalism at the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences of the Nova University of Lisbon. She has a degree in Journalism and Communication and a Master degree in Journalism. She is the author of the book “Colonial War in the News” magazine and organizer of the book “Portuguese Journalism and the Colonial War”. Sílvia Torres studies the journalistic coverage of the Colonial War made by the Portuguese press of Angola, Portuguese Guiné and Mozambique, between 1961 and 1974, highlighting news reports and war reporters. The Foundation for Science and Technology and CIC.Digital support her project.

Olívia Pestana, Ph.D. in Information and Communication in Digital Platforms, is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Porto and teaches in the scientific area of Information Science. Her current interests are focused on content analysis and subject indexing in various domains, as well as on the production, organization and use of scientific information.

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