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An alternative modernity? architecture, urbanity and colonialism in Lourenço Marques in late-colonial period

Grant number: 16/22435-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2017
Effective date (End): December 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology - Anthropology of Afro-Brazilian Populations
Acordo de Cooperação: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:João Felipe Ferreira Gonçalves
Grantee:Inácio de Carvalho Dias de Andrade
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):18/07829-4 - An alternative modernity? Architecture, urbanity and colonialism in Lourenço Marques in late-colonial period, BE.EP.PD


This project will analyze the development of the idea of modernity in the capital of Mozambiqueduring the late colonial period. In former Lourenço Marques, currently Maputo, consecutiveurbanization projects sought to materialize a modern Portuguese nation in the colonies at the same time that they tried to solve the problem of securing indigenous labor. Consequently, theMozambican capital was built from different perceptions of modernity, work, and race that tried to inscribe the guidelines of Portuguese colonization into the capital's streets. In this sense, the lusotropical ideal of Salazar's regime was materialized in the colonial city's streets, and different urban projects that emerged in Europe were used for this purpose. Thereby, the famous Mozambique's Movement of Modern Architecture faced a dilemma: how to design a modern,humanist and egalitarian city in the midst of the violent Portuguese colonial regime? Although this impasse has not necessarily been resolved (and has been, in fact, frequently ignored), the legacy of the modernist generation in Lourenço Marques is still quite noticeable in buildings and avenues of the capital. Furthermore, modernist architecture has defined the terms in which the modernization of Mozambique is discussed nowadays. Thus,interrogating the architecturalproduction in Mozambique's late-colonial period allows us to understand the ways in whichimportant dichotomies in current public debate were created - tradition/modernity, rural/urban, etc.- and helps us to perceive how different African modernities dialogue and produce the European modernity that we used to understand as the dominant one (AU)

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