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An Oral History of the Portuguese Colonial War: Conscripted by Ângela Campos

By Ângela Campos

This booklet explores the lived reminiscence of the Portuguese colonial warfare (1961-1974) during the research of thirty-six oral historical past interviews with ex-combatants of this clash. The meanings that the opponents attributed to their struggle reports then and now are the book’s analytical concentration. This venture seeks to respond to the subsequent questions: how has the general public reminiscence of this colonial clash built in Portugal from 1974 to nearly 2010? what concerns does an oral historian come upon while carrying out interviews with veterans on a earlier that continues to be tense for plenty of? what have been – and are – the main major elements of the struggle event and its aftermath for the veterans? how do the veterans understand their crew identification and their old scenario? and what leading edge views does oral background supply to the historiography of the Portuguese colonial war?

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4, 2004), 77; Barata and Teixeira, Nova História Militar (Vol. 5, 2004), 197, 173. 17. , 197. 18. The polemics started with opinion articles published on 2 August and 16 August 2012 by Loff in Público newspaper. Ramos’s response was published in the same newspaper on 21 August 2012. It should be added that História de Portugal was distributed in the summer 2012 in installments with newspaper Expresso; see also Loff’s reply in Público, 30th August 2012. 19.  Teixeira in Nova História Militar (Vol.

38. Again borrowing Portelli’s image, in They Say in Harlan County, 11. 39.  28–37. CHAPTER 2 War Memory Theory War memory studies have been developing enormously in the past decades, and there are numerous international works that have contributed to this widening of academic research and critical enquiry. Authors such as Ashplant, Dawson, Evans, Lunn, Roper, Sivan, Thomson, and Winter have opened up new perspectives within the field of war memory. Those employing life history data in general—and oral sources in particular—have become increasingly aware of the ways in which history writing depends on the socio-political context within which the remembering of a specific past takes place.

Since national unity is not always easy and comfortable to attain—particularly in the cases surrounding the memory of a military conflict that resulted in the separation of colonized territories—the need for official state remembrance narratives to retain some linkage with the concerns and perspectives of its citizens exposes the weak point of the state-centered approach, namely, the overlooking of the inevitable impact individuals and groups exert in the formation of official narratives. On the other hand, the individuals and social groups who engage in some form of remembrance are setting in motion a politics and are influenced necessarily and in different ways by their national, official context and preexisting wider war remembrance narratives.

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