Guided tours by Batoto Yetu Portugal “Spaces of the African Presence in Lisbon”
The aim of these visits is to show the Africanness of Lisbon, dispersed in a plurality of memories and traces, both visible and invisible today. The “migration” of African populations has been a permanent feature of Portuguese history since the 6th century. Whether willingly by the Moors (Islamized Africans and Arabs), “by force” (until the end of the 18th century) or then “by force” (from late 1800s to 1974, and today’s globalization), various African peoples have settled in the city of Lisbon. The presence of these populations has always differed from any other: The majority of this more “recent” presence of Africans did not come of their own free will, as happened with the Romans, Moors (Islamized Africans) and Arabs. For centuries they performed indispensable tasks, but also the hardest and most undervalued in society. Inserted in all wealth-creating sectors, Africans, whether slaves or free, were a structuring element of Portuguese urban life. However, the visibility of their presence in the city today is very tenuous in physical and structural terms, neither genetically nor culturally (fado). Let’s rediscover the spaces of the African presence in Lisbon together!