Independence redux in postsocialist Mozambique
26 | Setembro | 2007
Alice Dinerman

This article examines postsocialist mnemonic forms of legitimation deployed by Frelimo, the ruling party of Mozambique – most notably those aimed at temporally displacing the party’s socialist interlude, as well as its retreat from socialism. It argues that the leadership has turned to highly conventional processes of «fetishization » to eclipse this chapter in recent Mozambican history, along with other aspects of the past that, in the current political and economic dispensation, are an ongoing source of vexation. In addition, this essay explores the ways in which official fanfare and self-congratulatory rhetoric surrounding the «return» of Cahora Bassa dam to Mozambican control further these processes and do so in a manner that nourishes Frelimo’s longstanding claims to exceptionality within the firmament of African political leaders and projects. Finally, it contends that the imperative of expunging all trace of socialist influence has compelled Frelimo to rework official memories of the liberation war, a revision that has accelerated the slide of an already heavily mythologized history into a denatured metaphor.

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