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Creativity, Political Repression and Censorship in the Iberian and Ibero-American Contexts
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10/29/2015 to 10/30/2015
When: 10/29/2015
Where: Universidade de Lisboa

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Fundação Saramago
Centro de Estudos Comparatistas
Faculdade de Letras, Universidade de Lisboa
Lisboa, 29-30 de Outubro de 2015


This meeting aims to rethink the potential of creativity and narrativity for the definition of individual and collective identities in situations of repression, censorship and political violence within Iberian and American contexts, in the 20th and 21st centuries. Its main objective is to reflect on the concepts of “repression” and “censorship” beyond the scope of dictatorships, given that these are processes that can manifest themselves in different forms and also in apparently or superficially democratic scenarios. José Saramago, the Portuguese intellectual who is a reference in the opposition against any kind of oppression or violence, may serve as a starting point for a wider reflection on writing, art and creation in general as an answer to situations of political violence of any kind.

The Iberian and Latin American spaces offer good examples of the persistence of patterns of rejection, repression and censorship in recent times, as well as of the range and potentialities of artistic and creative responses to these patterns. In both cases, we find models and manifestations of “direct violence”, but also more complex and concealed articulations leading to more subtle and sometimes more frightening ways of censorship. From that viewpoint, this meeting will discuss topics such as the individual construction of a memory of political violence; the reflection of the artists’ own role in a context of repression, or the possibilities of artistic creation as self-affirmation against censorship.

This colloquium stems from an attempt to understand the possibilities and limits of verbalization and creativity against situations of pain and rejection. At the same time, it is connected to some of the lines of research developed at the Centre for Comparative Studies, as well as to many of the interests of the Saramago Foundation, which co-organizes the event.

Thematic areas:

• Violence and political commitment in the life and work of José Saramago
• Verbalization of situations of exclusion for political reason in Iberian and Ibero-American dictatorships
• Creative strategies against censorship
• Autobiographical accounts in a context of political repression
• Terrorism and State violence and their individual perception

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