Design by: Arne Kaiser | Powered by: In [Re]action

Messy Colonialism, Wild Decolonization, 2015

These images document the hundreds of crates that contained the belongings of the so-called “retornados”. This was the expression used by the Portuguese to identify citizens  that “returned” from the ex-colonies upon the hasty and messy independence processes, which were euphemistically dubbed ‘decolonization’. The wave of political turbulence which swept the country after the coup d’etat of the 25 April 1974 did not facilitate the speedy clearing of the luggage which remained almost ignored on the Lisbon quayside for years. These images are particularly symbolic as they portray the spoils of the end of colonialism abandoned on the quayside in Belém standing up against the Monument to the Discoveries on the Praça do Império! This monument was commissioned by the fascist dictatorship.