The construction of a web narrative about the Portuguese colonial war: a critical perspective on Wikipedia

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3989/chdj.2022.010

Keywords:

Digital memory, Wikipedia, Discourses about the past, Portuguese colonial wars, National liberation wars

Abstract


As part of recent research into the Portuguese colonial war in the sphere of memory studies, this article seeks to fill a gap in the underexplored field of digital memories. It aims, firstly, to explore the processes through which discourses about the Portuguese colonial war are produced in the Portuguese version of Wikipedia, looking at its dynamics and mechanisms of construction, including formal and informal rules; and secondly, to analyse that discourse using theoretical and methodological considerations from critical discourse analysis (CDA), complemented with concepts of absence and silence, which enable a reflection on the relationship between power, knowledge and memory. The article also explores the limits of Wikipedia as regards the formation of collaborative narratives about the past, arguing that they are marked by the reproduction of Eurocentric narratives which circulate in political, educational and media discourses, and also by the memories of more conservative sectors of Portuguese society, such as war veterans and former settlers returning from the colonies (the so-called retornados). These narratives mask the colonial violence and resistance to it that preceded the colonial war and depoliticize the struggle of the national liberation movements.

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Published

2022-06-21

How to Cite

Ferreira, V. . (2022). The construction of a web narrative about the Portuguese colonial war: a critical perspective on Wikipedia. Culture &Amp; History Digital Journal, 11(1), e010. https://doi.org/10.3989/chdj.2022.010

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Section

Articles

Funding data

H2020 European Research Council
Grant numbers 715593