The objective is to bring together, in a series of short articles, the “vision of the voiceless, of the most anonymous characters, less recognised by traditional history”, the historian explained to Lusa, recognising that the work is part of a trend of giving a broader perspective than the traditional one.
She explains that the book was not created “because of political correctness or the importation of research agendas from other countries”, however, “eliminating or not incorporating in the analysis of social and historical processes” – the subjugated or the other – makes it “lose precision, rigor and also complexity”.
For the researcher and coordinator of a European research project on resistance to the Iberian empires, the focus on who was defeated allows for another type of analysis of the “greater complexity and interdependence of historical actors”.
These new perspectives on Portuguese history, in line with what happens in other countries, are also taking place in the former colonies of the empire: “The Portuguese-speaking countries are carrying out their analysis and today have a greater perception of the complexity of their history ”, she acknowledged, while admitting that this “work is much less developed than here in Portugal”.
Mafalda Soares da Cunha admitted that this alternative look also brings new criticisms and “historians are accused of anti-patriotism and of wanting to undo the grandiosity of the country's past”. However she believes that “adding complexity does not mean disqualifying what was done”.
The book “Resistance – Insubmission and Revolt in the Portuguese Empire” is now available in bookstores and includes 50 stories of insubmission or rebellion that took place in territories under Portuguese rule between 1500 and 1850.
“The protagonists of these pages are people discriminated against according to their gender, religion, ethnicity, race, or level of wealth, revealing Portugal and its empire as a space where laws and institutional forms circulated, but also subversive ideas, over three and a half centuries”, says publisher Leya.