Inherited stories of the Salto – the leap: the clandestine journey of Portuguese migrants to France in the 1960-1970s & José Vieira’s People from the Salto

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Abstract

In the 1960-1970s, approximately 900,000 Portuguese people migrated to France, fleeing poverty, colonial war, and dictatorship. Many were clandestine and had to illegally cross the borders between Portugal and Spain, and then between Spain and France, in a voyage known as the salto – the leap. Stories of the salto are present in family circles of remembrance, as memories of migration are transferred to the second and third generations. In a context of postmemory, many descendants of the first generation of migrants inherit these stories imbued with trauma and are currently striving to give them visibility and recognition on a national level in Portugal. This task seeks to forge a collective memory by retrieving personal accounts and can be accomplished through cultural and aesthetic practices such as filmmaking. I consider the latter alternative archives that provide affective, intimate, and affiliative readings of the past countering national and official narratives. To illustrate this process, I analyze José Vieira’s documentary DVD film collection and booklet, People from the Salto.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-98
Number of pages21
JournalDiffractions
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2021

Keywords

  • Portugal
  • Clandestine migration
  • Memory
  • Postmemory
  • Family memory
  • Alternative archives
  • Family pictures
  • José Vieira

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