Diamang Company of Angola (Diamang) – Service of Information: a memory subv(m)ersive memory

Leading researcher: Jorge Varanda
Research group: Governance, Policies and Livelihoods
Type of project: National project
Status: Concluded
Keywords: Archives | Diamang Company of Angola (Diamang) | Information service | Digitalisation

Main institution: CRIA
Participant institutions: Universidade de Coimbra (DCV/FCT-UC)
Funding: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
Reference: 143142
Starting date: 01-08-16

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The digitization of part of Diamang’s archive, namely its Information Division (S.I.D.) paves the way for research central for a better characterization of the complexity of the colonial context. This documentation is also central to the visibility of local and regional historical subjects, who for almost 60 years related with colonial agents, thus, interacting in a variety of ways with colonial rule. Such subjects African (men, women and children) and Western (also fragmented) are by and large mere numbers in the colonial records. In the S.I.D. They gain body, age, gender, affiliation, labor capacity, in short an identity biography that allows, for example, to understand the impact of colonialism on lives; to verify the role of the mining economy in (re) identity negotiations and / or social hierarchies and / or prominence of certain networks; allows to grasp how subversive and illegal actions (practices in support of liberation movements or participation in illegal trade in commercial goods or diamonds) were constant. The documentation gives a glimpse of the difficulties that a powerful colonial agent such as Diamang, often known as leviathan, had to control the mining area. This type of analysis thus allows to move away the binary concepts of collaboration and resistance to a more complex plane of constantly negotiated relations, that is, of contingent strategic engagements. The S.I.D. are of unusual historical wealth, as they portray the persistent interaction between Western capitalist culture and na African oral culture. They represent na important legacy of the impact of colonialism on the people not only of the former province of Lunda, but also of other regions of Angola, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (areas of Kasai, Bandundu, and Katanga). Hence it is imperative to rescue them from destruction and to preserve them, thus allowing accessibility for new academic research.

Researchers from CRIA

IDNamePositionProjTitleProject typeStatus
pub83*Jorge VarandaPrincipal Investigatorproj247*Diamang Company of Angola (Diamang) - Service of Information: a memory subv(m)ersive memoryNational projectConcluded
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