Power through Language, the Language of Power: Equatoguinean Emixiles Facing Lingua Franca





Identity, Equatoguinean migration, Monolingualism, Ethnotypes, Memories, Dissidence


In 1968 Equatorial Guinea became independent from Spain but inherited its cultural architecture. Current identity claims made by Equatoguinean emixiles (Ugarte’s term, 2010) are rooted in the social and territorial exclusion suffered by ethnic groups during their colonial past. In this paper I will explore the role that the Spanish language played in the identity construction of six Equatoguinean emixiles living in the city of Alicante (Spain). My interviewees’ life-stories reveal valuable information on vernacular languages, but also on the lingua franca, a tool of liberation (granting access) but also of repression. By comparing their recollections of themselves (either as Guinean or ethnic citizens) back in Guinea, to their perceptions of themselves in Spain, I intend to delve into the mutual gaze between transnational identities (Vertovec) here and there, now and then. Given Bhabha’s concept of “third space” I argue, using specific samples from my corpus, that the synchronic analysis of emixiles’ discourses within a perverse diasporic perimeter (the land of the former colonisers), needs to be completed with the diachronic view of the patterns of power which influenced postcolonial (re)construction of national/ethnic identity.


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How to Cite

Iliescu-Gheorghiu, C. . (2020). Power through Language, the Language of Power: Equatoguinean Emixiles Facing Lingua Franca. Culture &Amp; History Digital Journal, 9(2), e014. https://doi.org/10.3989/chdj.2020.014




Funding data

Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad
Grant numbers HAR2015-63626-P