Fifth open class on “Themes and problems in Social History”

The fifth open lecture on “Themes and Problems in Social History” is scheduled for December 12 at 11.30 am in room 202 of CP3. This fifth session is dedicated to the theme “From indigeneity to forced labour: the ‘politics of difference’ in modern Portuguese colonialism (1899-1975)”. José Pedro Monteiro, from the Communication and Society Research Centre, will be its host.

The troubled and protracted abolition of slavery in the “third Portuguese empire” coincided with the empire’s geopolitical reorientation towards Africa. The end of slavery, however, did not translate into the end of racial discrimination or labour exploitation. As the Portuguese presence on the African continent intensified, new legal, economic and social mechanisms emerged, evolving and signifying the so-called imperial “politics of difference”. These included the legalisation and regulation of forced labour and the establishment of a dual legal regime known as “indigenato”, introducing a racially based distinction within the empire. These were the central axes of “difference” in the empire, and they persisted until later than in any other European empire, until the early 1960s.

This session will try to delve into the nature of this regime, its impact, the various forms of resistance against it, and the process leading to its abolition while examining what this abolition actually meant.

[Posted: 21-11-2023]