Author: editorial board

The Strange Case of Portugal’s Returnees

By Christoph Kalter. The year is 1975, and the footage comes from the Portuguese Red Cross. Who, or maybe what, are these people? Returnees or retornados is the term commonly assigned to more than half-a-million people, the vast majority of them white settlers from Angola and Mozambique, most of whom arrived in Lisbon in 1975.

Refugees and Religion

By Birgit Meyer. The volume Refugees and Religion: Ethnographic Studies of Global Trajectories, co-edited by Birgit Meyer and Peter van der Veer, disputes a hard and fast distinction between migrants and refugees by showing how shifting legal arrangements as well as people’s varying statuses make the concept of ‘refugee’ dynamic.

Essentialism and the Making of African Refugees

By Rose Jaji. African “refugeeness” in the media, policy, and academia is an essentialist physical image conflating material deprivation and multiple victimhoods. Historically, African refugees were capable of political participation even to the point of building vibrant states in the new lands they fled to in precolonial Africa.

Mozambique’s Borders

By Adérito Júlio Machava. During the period prior to the setting up of the Portuguese colonial administration in southeast Africa, there were important waves of forced migrations caused by, firstly, the Mfecane, and secondly the defeat of King Ngungunhane in 1895, and the subsequent overthrow of the Gaza Empire.

Congo’s White ‘Refugees’

By Lazlo Passemiers. Not all people seeking refuge in Africa have been black. One group of white refuge-seekers in Africa consisted of whites who fled from their African countries of residence after the fall of colonial and white minority rule.

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