Title: Migrants or masters? The new Portuguese migration to Angola and Cape Verde.
Researchers: Lisa Åkesson and Pétur Waldorff.
Scientific areas: anthropology.
Research centre: The Nordic Africa Institute
Duration: 2014 - 2017.
Funding entity: The Swedish Research Council
Observations: for the first time in African postcolonial history, citizens of a former European colonial power are seeking improved living conditions in the ex-colonies. The Portuguese who leave for Angola and Cape Verde are motivated by the strong economic growth in these countries in combination with the crisis in Portugal. In contrast to other economic migrants, these migrants need to secure an income is combined with a symbolic power based in their postcolonial identity. The project explores how the Luso-African postcolonial heritage interplays with the recent Portuguese-African migration in the construction of new identities, and how these identities inform the roles played by the Portuguese migrants in relation to development in Angola and Cape Verde. The main methods of data collection are participant observation and open-ended interviews. The project combines the field of migration studies with a postcolonial approach. As European labour migration to the South is a new field of inquiry, the project opens up for novel questions concerning these migrants identities, their integration into the receiving societies and their contribution to social and economic development. This means that the project explores concepts such as integration and migration and development from a new perspective. The project also analyses how this type of migration challenges postcolonial power relations, and it contributes with empirical substance which partly has been lacking in postcolonial studies.