Trauma and the Portuguese Repatriation: A Confined Collective Identity
The Cultural Trauma of Decolonization
Estados Unidos da América
With the Carnation Revolution in Portugal in April 1974, and after 13 years of independence wars in Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea-Bissau, the decolonization process of the Portuguese colonies in Africa began. This process led to the departure of almost half a million settlers, mainly from Angola and Mozambique, to the former metropolis. Portugal reacted to this abrupt and massive migration by implementing policies in order to facilitate the integration of those retornados (returnees). The Portuguese context of change arising from the Revolution and the characteristics of most retornados as first-generation colonizers born in Portugal led to an individualized integration of the repatriated population. Therefore, the trauma narratives expressed by a fringe of this population didn’t turn into a collective identity of retornados, neither did it make this trauma narrative shareable by the Portuguese society at large.