Levanta o Braço, Grita a tua Liberdade
After 40 years, what does colonialism, war, liberation and freedom represent these days? How are the memories of this period transmitted to future generations? How is a common
future built from this past?
These are some of the issues launched the by eighth edition of Rotas & Rituais, dedicated to the 40th Anniversary of independence of african countries with which Portugal had a relationship that generates, to this day, exchanges that enrich Lisbon and constitute one of its distinctive features.
Rather than focussing on relations between countries, we tried to focus on people, bringing the street to the São Jorge Cinema, through discussions and issues that do not usually have this stage, framed by several documentaries that help to understand post-colonialism. On the walls of São Jorge, the faces of the Children of the Wind remember who has been forgotten.
The street, in this case, is also a literal. Recognizing urban art as a privileged stage of social intervention, we launched a challenge, in partnership with the Urban Art Gallery of the Lisbon City Council, to submit proposals to build a wall that will reveal independence in the light of current events.
And because there is no revolution without music, it will be quite present in this edition of Rotas & Rituais. At a time of handover between generations, we will have two concerts of historical groups: Os Tubarões from Cape Verde and Ghorwane from Mozambique, complemented by contemporary reflection of Angolan Nástio Mosquito and his guest Moço Árabe. We also have the Independence Dance in the foyer of the São Jorge Cinema, to the sound of the energetic rhythms of Guinean Djumbai Djazz.
An intense week that will help the city look at itself.
The motto is given by the title of a song by Os Tubarões, written nearly 40 years ago: Labanta Braço, Grita Bo Liberdade.
The Board of Directors of EGEAC
““Every time a man has contributed to the victory of the dignity of the spirit, every time a man has said no to an attempt to subjugate his fellows, I have felt solidarity with his act.””
To celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the Independence of Portuguese colonial rule, Rotas & Rituais invites you on a journey to the past and present of Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Principe and Portugal.
These are stories of colonialism and decolonization, testimonies of war, of struggle, of freedom, of survival, of reconciliation with the past, but also of hope for the future. And so the date should be celebrated as a pursuit for freedom and against oppression.
Over time and history, new paradigms arose, but something prevails. In the words of Mia Couto “Colonialism did not die with independence. It just changed shift and executors”. If in the past it was imperialism, today we speak of globalization, but the assumptions of the world system are not that different. A constant game of closeness and distance, of interests and power, guided by increasingly less tolerant, inclusive and suportive rules. And, at the same time that distances between countries are shortened, invisible barriers are built between people.
Despite all the talk about interculturalism, the path towards social, economic and cultural inclusion of Africans in Portugal remains difficult. The colonial past persists on treading over subsequent generations that still face situations of discrimination, racism and resistance to integration – a reality that discriminates and at the same time is said to be multicultural.
The silence around history continues invulnerable and refuses to come to terms with our past. A past which is never to be forgotten but which does not want to be recalled. But we can not erase our history, minimize the importance of slavery, colonization, war and liberation. Four decades have gone by and it is now time to recall, review attitudes, prevent the subject from succumbing to silence and being forgotten by the generations of today and tomorrow. Because forgetting is something that can bring shame upon us.