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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Forgetting from Above and Memory from Below: Strategies of Legitimation and Struggle in Postsocialist Mozambique
Author:Pitcher, M. AnneISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic term:Mozambique
Politics and Government
History and Exploration
External links:https://www.jstor.org/stable/40026158
Abstract:This article examines two opposing strategies - one used by government officials and businesses, the other expressed by urban workers - that have emerged in postsocialist Mozambique. On the one hand, government officials and businesses have pursued a deliberate strategy of what several writers in other contexts have called 'organized forgetting', whereby they seek to airbrush the socialist past from history. They have revised the country's ideological orientation, built new coalitions of support among domestic and internal investors, and remade the ruling party's legitimacy following the abandonment of socialism and the transition to a free-market democracy. On the other hand, some urban workers have revived and repackaged the language of socialism to protest against the effects of neoliberalism. Relying on collective and individual memories of socialism, they denounce 'exploitation', 'recolonization', 'injustice' and 'inequality' as they struggle to understand, resist or modify the impact of structural adjustment and privatization. The author argues that, although the end of socialism has allowed a plurality of voices to surface in Mozambique, such discursive pluralism is characterized by increasing power inequities. The consolidation of capital and the ideological pronouncements that accompany it may ultimately silence the now dissident language of the socialist past. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]