Dr. Fábio Baqueiro Figueiredo
Fábio Baqueiro Figueiredo is a professor of African History at UNILAB, a federal Brazilian university created to foster Africa-Brazil academic exchanges. He is also associated with the Graduate Program in Ethnic and African Studies at Bahia Federal University, where he received his training in History (BA, 2005) and African Studies (PhD, 2012). He is one of the editors of Afro-Asia, the older and most influential Brazilian academic journal specialized on African Studies and race relations. He is actively engaged in the ongoing institutionalization of African Studies in Brazil, both in the African History Workgroup of the Brazilian National History Association (GT-África/ANPUH), and in the Brazilian African Studies Association (ABEÁfrica). His research focuses on the relation of politics, intellectual and cultural production, and social identity in Angola, both during the nationalist struggle and after independence. In particular, he is interested in observing how formulations about nationhood, race, ethnicity, urban-rural spectrum, class, and gender – in nationalist propaganda, public education, government cultural policy, the press, scholarship, music, cinema, literature, comics, and so on – influence and are influenced by the political struggle to define the future of the nation in the making.
- “Batalhas da cultura: cinema e música em Luanda nos dias da independência” in Lutas pela memória em África, eds. Lívio Sansone & Cláudio Alves Furtado (EdUFBA, 2019), pp. 93-124 [https://www.researchgate.net/publication/337885550_Historias_de_tribos_o_nacionalismo_africano_diante_da_etnicidade].
- “Histórias de tribos: o nacionalismo africano diante da etnicidade” in Afrikas: histórias, culturas e educação, ed. Fernanda Thomas (EdUFJF, 2019), pp. 169-210 [https://www.researchgate.net/publication/337885550_Historias_de_tribos_o_nacionalismo_africano_diante_da_etnicidade].
- “Scales of identity in the literature of African independences: an exploratory approach to nationalism, social identities, and cultural production”, Tempo 24 (2018), pp. 1-20 [doi: 10.1590/tem-1980-542x2018v240101].
- “Raça e diplomacia: a correspondência diplomática estadunidense sobre Angola, 1960-1961”, Transversos 10 (2017), pp. 252-276 [doi: 10.12957/transversos.2017.29337].
- “Luanda, 4 de fevereiro de 1961: o olhar dos Estados Unidos”, Outros Tempos 12 (2015), pp. 248-267 [doi: 10.18817/ot.v12i19.463].
Independence in Angola was marked by a proliferation of projects regarding the future society to be built. Not only three different anti-colonial armed movements claimed legitimacy to govern, but also many ideological trends could be observed within and around the MPLA, the organization that ultimately rose to power. The black urban youth in Luanda was instrumental to this development, but their ‘Black Atlantic’-inspired cultural production and consumption were far removed from the expectations of MPLA cadres returning after 11 years of guerrilla or exile – what would result in a tragic political falling-out after a while. New rulers were left to reconcile a massive disruption of economic production with the urge to deliver on nationalist promises. In this context, a far-fetched discussion around ‘unproductive’ uses of the body emerged in the public arena, encompassing alcohol and marijuana, dancing parties and electric guitars, platform shoes and bell-bottom pants, casual sex and family responsibilities. The socialist-inspired ‘New Man’ was boosted by government-aligned media as a role model for citizenship, fashioning a patriotic, unselfish, community-oriented hard worker that would follow suit government instructions in all regards. Conversely, reprehensible behavior was embodied in the trope of the “kazucuteiro” – the alleged counter-revolutionary, petty bourgeois saboteur, named after a satirical carnival performance that mimicked colonists’ ways. Among other social identity categories, I intend to take race and gender as privileged analytical axes to better understand the transition to independence in Angola, departing from more classical interpretations focused on the dichotomy colonizer-colonized.