Musical Lusofonia and the African-Diaspora in Postcolonial Portugal: Batida and Lisbon as a Global Cultural Capital




This paper investigates the role of music as an agent of change in Portugal since the 1990s, using batida, an African-diaspora inspired and created electronic dance music from Lisbon, as a case study. Using music as a focal point, it will analyse postcolonial discourses around Portuguese national identity and the status of the African-diaspora community within Portuguese society. The paper will seek to address whether it is possible to transform unequal cultural and linguistic relations established under colonialism into new egalitarian and multicultural urban spaces and cultures. It argues that while the agency of African-diaspora artists is greater than has previously been acknowledged, structural constraints of poverty and racism still undermine the extent to which the postcolonial Portuguese national identity has shifted to truly embrace its African-diaspora population.

Author Biography

Harry Edwards, Freie Universität Berlin/Humboldt Universität Berlin

MA Global History student at Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt Universität Berlin.