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De escravos a indígenas: O longo processo de instrumentalização dos africanos (séculos XV-XX)




Title: De escravos a indígenas: O longo processo de instrumentalização dos africanos (séculos XV-XX)

Author(s): Isabel Castro Henriques

Publication Date: 2020

Publisher: Caleidoscópio

Quotation: Henriques, Isabel C., De Escravos a Indígenas: o Longo Processo de Instrumentalização dos Africanos (Séculos XV-XX), Lisboa, Ed. Caleidoscópio, 2019.

Abstract: This book, which brings together a set of texts written over forty years and dispersed in publications of diverse nature, not always easily accessible, aims to contribute to a renewal of historiography on the relations between Portugal and Africa, in the specific field of the forms of instrumentalisation of Africans carried out by the Portuguese for almost five centuries. A long process, whose internal nature proved capable of metamorphosis and reconversion in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, ensuring the continuity of the violent 'use' of African populations, resorting to a new classificatory apparatus - savages, indigenous, assimilated - aimed at keeping Africans within the sphere of Portuguese domination, contributing to legitimising their enslavement and fixing distorting interpretations of History. If a first line of study aims to review the history of slavery and slave trafficking and their ideologies in spaces of Portuguese 'occupation' like Angola, a second line of study privileges iconographic documents as historical sources, emphasizing their historical and informative dimension. Finally, the third line of this study seeks to highlight the evolution of the process of Portuguese instrumentalisation of Africans, which resorts to unprecedented classificatory categories - savage, indigenous, assimilated - and to practices that emerge from the slave labour of the past to ensure the colonial exploitation of African populations. Value judgments, commodification, objectification, exploitation, ridiculing of African men fabricated Portuguese imaginaries that reduced the black/African to slavery, the savage/indigenous to lazy, thieving and drunk, the assimilated/'civilised' to a ridiculous and negative copy of the white/Portuguese, enshrining the inferiorization of Africans, and in the same movement, glorifying the Portuguese 'race', hierarchizing the humanities and valuing the dimension and nature of the Portuguese actions, first slave-owning and then colonialist, that have left their mark on Portuguese society to this day.

Identifier: ISBN: 9789896586171

Category: Book

This book, which brings together a set of texts written over forty years and dispersed in publications of diverse nature, not always easily accessible, aims to contribute to a renewal of historiography on the relations between Portugal and Africa, in the specific field of the forms of instrumentalisation of Africans carried out by the Portuguese for almost five centuries. A long process, whose internal nature proved capable of metamorphosis and reconversion in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, ensuring the continuity of the violent ‘use’ of African populations, resorting to a new classificatory apparatus – savages, indigenous, assimilated – aimed at keeping Africans within the sphere of Portuguese domination, contributing to legitimising their enslavement and fixing distorting interpretations of History.
If a first line of study aims to review the history of slavery and slave trafficking and their ideologies in spaces of Portuguese ‘occupation’ like Angola, a second line of study privileges iconographic documents as historical sources, emphasizing their historical and informative dimension. Finally, the third line of this study seeks to highlight the evolution of the process of Portuguese instrumentalisation of Africans, which resorts to unprecedented classificatory categories – savage, indigenous, assimilated – and to practices that emerge from the slave labour of the past to ensure the colonial exploitation of African populations.
Value judgments, commodification, objectification, exploitation, ridiculing of African men fabricated Portuguese imaginaries that reduced the black/African to slavery, the savage/indigenous to lazy, thieving and drunk, the assimilated/’civilised’ to a ridiculous and negative copy of the white/Portuguese, enshrining the inferiorization of Africans, and in the same movement, glorifying the Portuguese ‘race’, hierarchizing the humanities and valuing the dimension and nature of the Portuguese actions, first slave-owning and then colonialist, that have left their mark on Portuguese society to this day.


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