“Our bodies are homeland as well”: sounds, words, images, and politics in contemporary Afro-Portuguese music

Principal researcher: João Mineiro

Research group: Practices and Politics of Culture


Music | Culture | Politics | Afro-descendants

Funding Institution

Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia



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Although the end of the dictatorship and colonialism have a historical interdependence, throughout almost half a century, Portugal has avoided discussing its colonial past. As a result, a new literature emerged discussing the non-incorporation of many black people as real citizens in Portugal, and the persistence of various modalities of racism and social exclusion. The hypothesis of this project asserts that musical culture has been a tool for cultural, social and political affirmation for the Afro-descendants and used as a weapon to fight the reproduction of ethnoracial inequalities. In what ways are second and third generations of African descendants, through music, changing the self-representation of Portugal by revisiting the past, disputing the present, and redefining imaginaries about the future? Are we witnessing a cultural affirmation process with significant political impacts in post-colonial Portugal? Based on an ethnographic approach, this study will map the sounds, words, images, and politics that Portuguese black people are developing to question the place that racialized bodies and their voices occupy in Portuguese society and culture.