Amílcar Cabral’s Time in Colonial Angola: Spatial Dialectics of Settler Plantations, Culture & Decolonization: Seminar

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Seminário Amílcar Cabral’s Time in Colonial Angola: Spatial Dialectics of Settler Plantations, Culture & Decolonization

por Aharon deGrassi (San José State University), 4 novembro, 11h, Sala Polivalente, ICS-ULisboa


This presentation situates Cabral’s four research visits in late 1950s Angola in relation to (1) his previous analytic, professional, and political work before 1960, (2) the character of agrarian transformations in Angola, and (3) Cabral’s subsequent activities. Cabral did on-the-ground research at some of the largest colonial agri-businesses in the most important export sectors of Angola at the height of the post-WWII agro-industrial boom. Cabral’s visits to Angola came after he had a developed a spatial dialectical approach to the political economy of environment, agrarian change, and colonialism. He developed that approach through his analyses of the Alentejo wheat plantations, and the groundnut and rice based shifting cultivation systems in Guinea Bissau. We should consider whether and how Cabral used his experiences in Angola to further develop the lens from Cape Verde, Portugal, and Guinea that he brought to Angola. In relation to previous experiences, Angola confronted him with differences in terms of a settler colony where plantations, large capital, and race were more salient. Information on Cabral’s visits is very limited, but the experience in person was likely different than other forms of information, and gave insight into different forms of colonialism, racism, and  capitalism. Angola further enriched his sense of production of diversity through spatial dialectical relations. I end with a few suggestions about how that might have shaped his subsequent strategies.

Aharon deGrassi, Lecturer of Geography no Department of Urban & Regional Planning, San José State University (EUA), é um geógrafo interdisciplinar que trabalha sobre economia política do desenvolvimento rural em África, num quadro geo-histórico. Tem realizado trabalho de campo em diversos países africanos, nomeadamente Angola. Atualmente encontra-se a desenvolver a pesquisa Os Fios de Ligação: As Geografias Dinâmicas de Algodão e Contenção em Angola 1850-2020 com uma bolsa FLAD/BNP 2022.