Renegotiated (Post)Colonial Relations within the New Portuguese Migration to Angola

Pétur Waldorff


This article examines the new wave of Portuguese migration to Luanda in the first decade after Angola’s civil war, a time characterised by extensive economic growth and shifting economic prospects in Angola. It frames Portuguese–Angolan relations in contemporary Angola, relations that are sometimes portrayed as amicable and influenced by a common brotherhood, as multifaceted. This article distinguishes different social, cultural, and historic interpretations of this migration and investigates how such interpretations influence people’s relations, identities, feelings, and personal understandings of the social, political, and historic contexts that people confront on a daily basis in contemporary Luanda, a capital city where “colonial encounters in postcolonial contexts” have increasingly become everyday occurrences. It argues that at the intersections of Angolan and Portuguese contact in Angola, new configurations of power are being produced and reproduced against the backdrop of its colonial history and Lusotropicalist myths, where colonial and postcolonial inequalities, as well as economic opportunities, are brought to the fore in both Angolan and Portuguese imaginaries.

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