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File photo: Lusa
Mozambican author Mia Couto said on Monday that a long time was needed for Europe to discover “the diversity of voices that come from Africa” and lamented that on a global level, Portuguese-speaking Africa was still considered the “suburb of the suburb”.
Africa, he said, inherited a “weight of Europe,” which correspond to three Africa’s: Francophone Africa, Anglophone Africa and Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) Africa.
“If Africa is already a suburb in the world context, Portuguese-speaking Africa is a suburb of the suburb, because it doesn’t have the cultural weight of English or French,” Couto, one of Portuguese-speaking Africa’s most renowned writers, said.
Couto told Spanish news agency Efe, in an interview ahead of the Saint Jordi literary festival in Barcelona, that Europe still had little knowledge of African literature.
“Europe doesn’t know African literature and although the situation has improved a lot, it continues to be to a large extent Nigerians of the diaspora that tell their certain vision of the world,” he said, adding that there was a long way for Europe to know about “the linguistically richest continent.”
The author, who was born in Mozambique to Portuguese parents and writes about the Mozambican civil war and Portuguese colonialism in much of his work, also said that “peace, in a formal sense, is a process that is still underway,” in Mozambique, adding that it would continue as long as the opposition party RENAMO’s military wing spark violence “every time it doesn’t achieve a political victory in the parliament.”
Couto was shortlisted for the Man Booker international prize and has won a number of awards including the 2013 Camões Prize for Literature.Source: Lusa
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