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Ma(d)jermanes: colonial past and diasporic present: ethnographical reconstruction one the last relic of the colonial European socialism

Grant number: 06/01500-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2006
Effective date (End): June 30, 2010
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology
Principal Investigator:Omar Ribeiro Thomaz
Grantee:Hector Rolando Guerra Hernandez
Host Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The main objective of this project is to research the social group formed by former Mozambican workers in the disappeared German Democratic Republic (GDR); this social group is nowadays known as Ma(d)jermanes. This project will try to reconstruct a coherent description of this collective, trying to achieve whether a line of continuity, or the break with their past as migrant workers and their subsequent diasporical and transnational present, by searching their recognition as a social collective, both foreigners in Germany and as Mozambic. One of the most important reasons to carry out this research sustains the fact that this collective should be discussed in two contemporary research fields which have not been combined until now: The Ma(d)jermanes represent a bridge between the postcolonial theory and the post socialist debate. Actually, Mozambic has a long colonial history, and when it became independent of Portugal in 1975, it assumed one model of development, that transformed the country in a kind of colony from the socialist countries of the so-called “second world”. This historical precedent is crucial to understand the relationship between the African country and the GDR, especially because both nations consider themselves as having a strategic position. A work which is directly related to a controversial field of research must be by force of empirical nature. On the other hand, considering the fact that in Germany does not exist either an updated cadastre of their situation, status or number, we will need information for reconstructing their collective biography as migrant workers. A meticulous analysis of the existing sources, documents and regulations found on the German archives will have to be included in this research. From an empirical point of view, we decide to use an ethnographical compilation of facts applying the fieldwork-method. Throughout this method we could collect the facts concerning the structures and the organization of the institutions created by the Ma(d)jermanes in a special adequate way; moreover, the practices they achieved by shaping their networks, both inside the social group itself and by comparing themselves in both societies as well. The next objective will be to collect as many biographies as possible, as well as exhaustive interviews; this last method is especially appropriate as a way to collect information, above all in situations where one needs to deeply analyze the discursive level (AU)

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
HERNANDEZ, Hector Rolando Guerra. Ma(d)jermanes: Colonial past and diasporical present: an Ethnographic reconstruction of one of the last relict of the European colonial socialism. 2011. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas Campinas, SP.

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