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Universidade Lusófona

Pedagogy of memory, remembering in order to unlearn: notes from the Sala Colonial project (Lamego, 2021-2024) Conference by Catarina Simão

In 1980, the management of the former Liceu de Lamego gave the city's museum around 300 African artefacts that were part of the collection of the Colonial Room that had existed in that school since 1938. The Colonial Room was a school model of national exaltation that, during the Estado Novo, served the propaganda of the "Portuguese Empire in Africa". In the post-25 April period, the deactivation of this room was a first step towards getting rid of the marks of this unique episode of fascist and racist pedagogy. But the deep problems linked to decolonisation remained in the pedagogical model of knowledge "about Africa", extending across museographic and archive practices, absorbed by the general inertia of the way of thinking crystallised in classification and access instruments. In 2022, at the invitation of the Lamego Museum and the Latino Coelho Secondary School - the former Lamego High School - this episode was problematised through a project initiated by Portuguese artist Catarina Simão. 50 years after the 25th of April 1974, much has failed to recognise and exorcise our colonial legacy. It is in the confessional aspect of her archive, in the confrontation of her exhibition, that the strength to put our history at the service of today's anti-racist demands should ultimately lie.

Event as part of the conference cycle:

Annual Conferences CCB/CICANT_ECATI
Other Spaces - The shores of Freedom, 2024

For more information go here:

  • published 11 September 2023
  • modified 07 May 2024