THE FUNAMBULSIT / PANAFRICANISM
THE HOUSE OF THE STUDENTS OF THE EMPIRE
Ana Naomi de Sousa & Sónia Vaz Borges
With Portugal already 20 years deep into the oppressive rule of Antonio Salazar, the first ‘House of the Students of the Empire’ was founded in 1943 in Lisbon, by mostly white, African-born university students who were closely connected or outwardly sympathetic to the Estado Novo regime.
The doors of the Casa dos estudantes do império were finally closed by the PIDE in 1965, by which time it was, in the words of Agostinho Neto’s famous poem, too late to “stop the rain”: the story of the casa, from cradle of facist-colonial ideology to the birthplace of Portuguese negritude, Black indepence theory and anticolonialism remains one of the most poetic back-firings in the history of imperialism.