Africana Studia nº 39 - Paisagens Colonais e Pós-Coloniais: Arquitetura, Cidades, Infraestruturas

Já se encontra disponível o nº 39 da Revista Africana Studia - Paisagens Coloniais e Pós-Coloniais: Arquitetura, Cidades, Infraestruturas 



  • Debates on Northern Africa
    • Ahmed El-Amine Benbernou - The «Plan of Constantine» and the modernist utopia (pág. 9)
    • Gemma Jennings - ‘A land of minerals’: Oil Extraction and Constructs of French Coloniality in the Algerian Sahara (pág. 25)
    • Fatima Zohra Saaid, Najoua Beqqal, Mouna Sedreddine e Siham Elgharbi -Retracing continuity and discontinuity of a vernacular typology mass housing in the colonial context of Morocco: the case of the city of Casablanca (pág. 33)
  • Debates on West and Central Africa
    • Rui Aristides Lebre - Surveying essences, producing culture: virgin landscapes and the architectural reinvention of the late Portuguese empire (pág. 49)
    • Francesca Vita - “Uma Guiné Melhor”: the psychological action and the spatialization of population control in rural areas. The strategic villages in Guinea-Bissau between 1968-1973 (pág. 59)
    • Carl-Philipp Bodenstein - Divided Urbanism – On the Spatial Production of Transportation Infrastructures in Livingstone during Late Colonialism (pág. 71)
    • Baerbel Mueller – In between on all levels – [Applied] Foreign Affairs (pág. 85)
  • Entrevistas
    • Johan Lagae (pág. 95)
  • África em debate
    • Nizar Tajditi - La configuration inachevée de la modernité: L’expérience narrative qualifiante d’Idrīss al-Ğu‘aydī, voyageur marocain en Europe durant l’été 1876 (pág. 103)
    • Hervé Pennec - L’itinéraire d’un orientaliste au Portugal et ses réseaux européens. Francisco Maria Esteves Pereira, militaire et éthiopisant (pág. 123)
  • Notas de leitura 
    • Miguel Filipe Silva e Abiud Bosire - Watson, J. (2021), Cold War Reckonings: Authoritarianism and the Genres of Decolonization. New York: Fordham University Press (pág. 147)
  • Resumos (pág. 151)
  • Legenda das ilustrações (pág. 161)



This special number of Africana Studia results from a selection of papers submitted to the “Colonial and Postcolonial Landscapes: Architecture, Cities, Infrastructures - I International Congress”, which took place at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, in Lisbon, in January 2019. The congress was part of the research project entitled “Coast to Coast - Late Portuguese Infrastructural Development in Continental Africa (Angola and Mozambique): Critical and Historical Analysis and Postcolonial Assessment” funded by ‘Fundaçã o para a Ciência e Tecnologia’ (FCT - Foundation for Science and Technology), with the reference PTDC/ATP- AQI/0742/2014, which lasted from 2015 to 2020. Gathering several institutions from Angola, Mozambique and Portugal as research partners1, this project analyzed how the colonial strategies for territorial domination in Angola and Mozambique reflected upon the post-independent and current socio-spatial developments, especially focusing on three specific typologies of colonial public works: transport networks, hydroelectric facilities and settlements for resource exploitation.
Within this framework, the congress sought to broaden these concerns in three dimensions:
(i) at geographical level, by opening up the discussion to different territories of former colonial history, beyond Angola and Mozambique, thus creating opportunities for the discussions on colonial structural impacts in diverse contexts, allowing for contrasting strategies and agents,
as well as socio-spatial transformations;
(ii) at disciplinary level, by sharing perspectives from several scientific backgrounds with implications in the built environment, therefore promoting the joint discussions over the complex issues that are present in the production of space, in particular the creation and reproduction of social and territorial asymmetries; and
(iii) at the materiality level, aiming to discuss not only built testimonies of colonial administration, but also immaterial or invisible actions that led to spatial definitions of power and dominance, and mechanisms of segregation or democratization of access to resources and common goods. Therefore, the selected papers provide contributions to rethink colonial projects and interventions, considering their circumstances, complexities and impacts, often contradictory and perverse, from different perspectives and case-studies, allowing for a multi-layered interpretation of architecture and urbanism’s roles within colonial frameworks.
With this awareness, Fatima Zohra Saaid, Najoua Beqqal, Mouna Sedreddine and Siham Elgharbi, through a reflection on the incorporation of the traditional typology of the courtyard in colonial mass housing projects in Morocco, discussed the created continuities and discontinuities, by analyzing the use of vernacular architecture in these dwellings both as an intent for local cultural conciliation, as well as a contribution to international debates on modern living aspirations. The following text by Rui Aristides, addressing the Portuguese territories in late colonial domination, also feeds this debate, by questioning how modern architecture in former colonies represented both a technical space of freedom for architects and urbanists to explore innovative approaches to the built environment, as well as an attempt of legitimation of occupation through the production of built solutions that – despite being presented as tools of democratization – rather perpetuated the colonial dominance over these territories and unequal living conditions.
Baerbel Mueller shifts these debates to the pedagogical dimension, reflecting upon the role of academia as an essential framework for the conciliation of critical thinking and engaged action, by bridging efforts and promoting the joint knowledge construction with different stakeholders – communities, local associations, different generations – towards the production of relational spaces that celebrate diversity.
The research undertaken by Francesca Vita sheds light into the contradictions between discourse and action in late colonial administration, taking Guinea-Bissau as a case-study to question both the visible strategies of colonial domination, and the subtler strategies to establish control over the local population, by interfering in their private and public relations. This work highlights how architecture and urbanism served the purposes of population domination - “counter-subversion” as it was called by the colonial administration – to maintain power.
Focusing on the “Plan of Constantine” dated from 1958, yet extending the reflections to recent housing plans in Algeria, Ahmed El-Amine Benbernou investigates the contradictions between the colonial intentions of promoting social mix, and the actual impact of producing different mechanisms of spatial and economic segregation. Therefore, while understanding the appropriation process undertaken after independence, the author also analyses how certain housing solutions remained tools of perpetuation of poverty and asymmetries.
Expanding the debate to the infrastructural dimension, Carl-Philipp Bodenstein explores how segregation and exclusion are produced and reproduced by the asymmetries in the access to urban resources, in particular the infrastructures. By focusing on Livingstone in the late 1940s and
1950s, the author analyzes ideologies and discourses behind the conception and implementations of public transport, exposing the relations of dominance and their broad impacts.
Lastly, Gemma Jennings investigates the “footprints” of oil exploration in colonial Algeria, discussing how - while its extraction produced major investments in transport networks, airport facilities and the urbanization in general – the actual impacts for local populations were largely overlooked, radically changing ethnic identities and social relations. This case exposes the role of major resources into shaping spaces and population relationships, not only under colonial rule, but also with broader repercussions.
This group of texts therefore exposes contradictions and complexities of the late colonial administration in several contexts which, while presenting different cases and specificities, broadly show how colonial discourses of modernization, democratization and integration of local populations were simultaneously mechanisms of reproduction of domain and legitimation of territorial occupation, through more visible or subtle means, in which architecture and urbanism served this agenda. Therefore, this demonstrates the importance of a reflection not only on impacts and long-term repercussions of these processes, but also of a critical and ethical questioning on the roles of these disciplines as tools of segregation or effective democratization towards our future societies and territories.

1 Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (Mozambique) and Universidade Técnica de Angola (Angola), as well as Dinâmia’CET – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Arquivo Histórico Ultramarino and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (Portugal).

Ana Vaz Milheiro *
Ana Silva Fernandes **


 * FAUL (Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade de Lisboa) + Dinâmia’CET-IUL (Instituto Universitário de Lisboa).
** Dinâmia’CET-IUL (Instituto Universitário de Lisboa) + FAUP (Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto).

Nº de registo: 124732

Depósito legal: 138153/99
ISSN: 0874-2375
DOI Africana Studia n.º 39:

Editor/Entidade proprietária: Centro de Estudos Africanos da Universidade do Porto 
FLUP, Via Panorâmica s/n – 4150-564 Porto
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NIF da entidade proprietária: 504 045 466
Este trabalho é financiado por fundos nacionais através da FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I.P, no âmbito do Projeto UIDB/00495/2020
Diretor: Maciel Morais Santos (Este endereço de email está protegido contra piratas. Necessita ativar o JavaScript para o visualizar.)
Secretariado: Carla Delgado
Revisão gráfica e de textos: Henriqueta Antunes
Sede da redação: FLUP, Via Panorâmica s/n - 4150-564 Porto

Tiragem: 200 exemplares
Periodicidade: semestral
Design e impressão: Sersilito-Empresa Gráfica, Lda. – Tv. Sá e Melo 209, 4471-909 Maia

Conselho Científico/Advisory Board: Adriano Vasco Rodrigues (CEAUP), Ana Maria Brito (FLUP), Augusto Nascimento (FLUL), Dmitri Bondarenko (Instituto de Estudos Africanos – Moscovo), Eduardo Costa Dias (CEA-ISCTE), Eduardo Medeiros (U. Évora), Emmanuel Tchoumtchoua (U. Douala), Jean Gormo (U. Maroua/CEAUP), Joana Pereira Leite (CESAISEG), João Garcia (FLUP), José Carlos Venâncio (U. Beira Interior), Malyn Newitt (King’s College), Manuel Rodrigues de Areia (U. Coimbra), Manzambi V. Fernandes (Faculdade de Letras e Ciências Sociais de Luanda/CEAUP), Michel Cahen (IEP–U. Bordéus IV), Mohammed Nadir (CEAUP), Nizar Tadjiti (U. Tetouan/CEAUP), Paulo de Carvalho (Faculdade de Letras e Ciências Sociais de Luanda) e Philip Havik (IHMT).

Conselho editorial/Editorial Board: Abdifatah Abdi, Aicha Janeiro, Ana Silva Fernandes, Ana Vaz Milheiro, Amina Aty, Carla Delgado, Flora Oliveira, Francisco Topa, Maciel Santos, Marina Butovskaya, Mourad Aty e T. P. Wilkinson.

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Africana Studia é uma revista publicada com arbitragem científica.
Africana Studia é uma revista da rede Africa-Europe Group for Interdidisciplinary Studies

Capa: Tower in the rilway station of Ressano Garcia. Mozambique, 2019. Foto: Ana Silva Fernandes.

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Unidade I&D integrada no projeto com referência UIDB/00495/2020 (DOI 10.54499/UIDB/00495/2020) e UIDP/00495/2020.



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