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The "retorno" (return) of Portuguese settlers from the former colonies of Angola and Mozambique, on their path towards independence after the downfall of the Portuguese authoritarian Estado Novo (New State) on 25 April 1974, is one of the most dramatic "return migrations" in Europe during the twentieth century. It impressively transformed Portuguese society and shaped the new, democratic structures of that society. It was debated in public and in the press; it led to changes in views on migration as a phenomenon, and found slow but finally ample expression in Portuguese literature. It became a controversial element of Portuguese memory.
Much has yet to be done on the discussion of that experience, and this conference attempts to approach the issue from an interdisciplinary perspective, between historical and literature studies. It is probably one of the first larger attempts to debate the experience outside of the narrower confines of Portuguese academia. Geneva - one of the most Portuguese cities in Europe and strongly linked to Portuguese migration - is an obvious place to hold such a conference.
Nazaré Torrão, Alexander Keese, and Pedro Cerdeira
Université de Genève, Switzerland/Suisse