This research combines a theoretical reconceptualization of the cultural dimensions of memory with the analysis of three artistic media that negotiate the refugee presence in Portugal between 1933 and 1945. The aim of this thesis is therefore twofold: on the one hand, it seeks to make a contribution to the ongoing attempt of widening the theoretical and methodological scope of memory studies. It therefore advances a translational perspective that challenges basic assumptions of the site-bound, nation-bound and identity-bound framework that has characterized most research on memory within the humanities since the 1980s. Rather than limiting memory to its potential to support a particular identity and self-image of a community, it is conceived of as the outcome of translational processes that unfold in complex networks of signification, whose results might work in favor but also against established power relations. On the other hand, it presents the first systematic analysis of the remembrance and negotiation of the refugee presence within artistic media in Portugal. Portugal’s role as country of exile, transit station and open city for spies before and during World War II has recently been the subject not only of several academic studies, but also of newspaper articles and a number of expositions, films and novels. Rather than an exhaustive inventory of artistic media dealing with the topic, this study pursues an “archive of implication” (Rothberg, 2013, 2014) to understand how three of the most widely circulated and discussed artistic media implicate the memory of the refugee presence in reinforcing or challenging dominant notions of communality. Through a detailed close reading of Daniel Blaufuks’ interart-project Sob Céus Estranhos [Under strange skies] (2002/2007), Domingos Amaral’s novel Enquanto Salazar Dormia [While Salazar was sleeping] (2006) and João Canijo’s documentary Fantasia Lusitana [Lusitanian fantasy] (2010) this thesis seeks to give visibility to the plurality and heterogeneity of mnemonic practices and discourses in Portugal. The principal questions of this study are, first, if and how these artistic media mobilize different heterocultural networks of signification, and, second, if and how they develop different ways of implicating the refugee presence in the present and thereby challenge or reinforce established forms of communality and solidarity.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Award date||20 Jan 2020|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|
- World War II Refugees Portugal, Transcultural Memory, Archives os Implication, Translational Perspective, Daniel Blaufuks, João Canijo, Domingos Amaral,