“In the shadow of the Oká: the arid paths of mestiçagem”

Chaired by Lurdes Macedo and Rosa Cabecinhas, the Tertulia with Olinda Beja was held on the March 8th on the Livraria Centésima Página in Braga and was attended by a large group of students, teachers and the public in general, involved with the words of the author. Among the personal experiences of her return to Sao Tome and Principe, at the age of 39, and the contact with the extended family, the writer and poet tells stories about the relation with the Other. The diversity of the islands, their fauna and flora, but also their cultural diversity are referred to by Olinda Beja, who draws attention to the lack of knowledge of São Tomé History and the need to deconstruct hegemonic historical narratives, in order to perceive the mestiçagem arid paths in the country. As Rosa Cabecinhas points out, “with love it is made the contact with the Other”. The sentiment Olinda Beja nourishes for Sao Tome and Principe is present in every word she recites, offering us in a farewell form a poem from her first book “Bô Tendê?”.

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Text, photos and video: Isabel Macedo