Accepted paper:

The crafting of a nation: Cape Verde and the Claridade literary movement

Authors:

Juliana Braz Dias (University of Brasilia)

Paper short abstract:

Alternative ideas on what it means to be Cape Verdean have co-existed over time, placing the archipelago in multiple regional contexts. In this paper I analyse nationalist discourses produced by the members of Claridade, a movement that wielded great impact on the literary scene in Cape Verde.

Paper long abstract:

Discourses about national identities are never fixed and consensual. They constitute a field of debate in which different positions are continually articulated. It has been so in the case of Cape Verde. Alternative ideas on what it means to be Cape Verdean have co-existed over time. In particular, various connections have been drawn between Cape Verde and other nations, placing the West African archipelago in multiple regional contexts. In this complex symbolic field, different feelings of belonging may be triggered, bringing different affinities to the fore and sketching transnational scenarios as diverse as the African continent, the Atlantic world, and the Community of Portuguese Language Speaking Countries (CPLP). In this paper, I analyse nationalist discourses created in the very heart of the Claridade, a movement that wielded considerable impact on the literary scene in Cape Verde between the 1930s and the 1960s. During a time marked by a rigorous censorship regime, Claridade constituted an important medium for claiming Cape Verde's autonomy. The vocabulary crafted by the representatives of this movement was crucial for the symbolic consolidation of the young nation-state - although their main ideas have been continually challenged by competing projects. Observing the symbolic inclusions and exclusions produced by these discourses, we may better understand the elaborate construction of a nation and its position in the world.

panel P031
Nationalism in fiction and poetry: South Asia in conversation with the world