Historical Reflexivity and Artistic Reflexivity

Nuno Domingos (ICS-ULisboa) publicou o capítulo “Historical Reflexivity and Artistic Reflexivity”, no livro “The Retornados from the Portuguese Colonies in Africa”editado por Elsa Peralta (Routledge: 2021)


This chapter discusses how an avant-garde movie, Tabu (2012) directed by Miguel Gomes, relates to the production of a public memory on the Portuguese colonial experience. It argues that if the high artistic reflexivity in Tabu allows the director to move away from cinematographic convention, the absence of historical reflexivity prevents the creation of a distance from the dominant representations of Portugal’s colonial past, especially representations based on a sense of loss promoted by members of the old colonial population, which conceives the end of empire time as a personal and also collective loss. The truth intrinsic to this narrative must also be related to the rhetoric that typically endows Portuguese cinema, an international brand of artistic prestige, with the task of representing and translating national identity.

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