Listing rivers and train stations: primary solidarities and the colonial sast in Mozambique

João de Pina-Cabral


In understanding present-day Mozambique, stress is usually placed on the colonial/postcolonial temporal boundary as a foundational moment. Colonialism, socialist post colonialism and the present capitalist period appear to annul each other in succession through a chain of successive acts of overcoming. This paper argues that this gives rise to a number of incongruities, for it hides the way in which social persons are linked to historical processes via their primary solidarities. The past and the present are constantly being re-mixed into conglomerates of experience, where each component becomes largely indissociable from the others. The past and the present constantly visit each other in human experience. It is argued that only thus can one make sense of the claims to elite status that are witnessed today.

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Vibrant, Brasília, DF, Brasil. ISSN 1809-4341