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A Masters Student Project from Leiden University, 2020


There have always been connections between Europe and Africa whether real or imaginary. Students of the course "Connecting Dreams: Europe in Africa, Africa in Europe" at Leiden University studied connectivity in expressions, movements, ideas, and resources, as well as mobility of people, stories and images since the late nineteenth century. The projects are both historically and anthropologically situated and include memory studies and migration theories.

The article "West African Gods On American Soil: Memory and Myth in American Gods" by Meredith A. Walker explores how the television show American Gods uses a unique blend of West African folklore and cultural memory, as well as intertextual symbolism as a way to explore and address historical and modern issues of racism toward African American in America.

In her article "Migration from the Gambia to Germany: An Agency-Oriented Analysis", Corinna Billmaier investigates the hopes and dreams of contemporary migrants from the Gambia to Germany by interviewing a young migrant himself and adding his voice to the debate. By analysing the place migration has in Gambian society the article asks whether the current migrant flow can be embedded in a wider historical tradition of migration in the Gambia and if we can speak of a “culture of migration."

In the article 'Connecting the Nigerian Diaspora: a gendered analysis of Nollywood consumption amongst women', Esther Verhaegh analyses the consumption and reception of Nollywood films amongst women in the Nigerian diaspora in the UK. Focussing on several interviews this article investigates whether Nollywood films are a means to stay connected to the 'homeland', Nigeria.

The article asking "what role did race have in the integration of retornados?" by Cláudia Coelho is an analysis regarding the Portuguese decolonization of Africa and the consequent integration of returnees in Portugal. Was race a factor in favouritism, when it came to integrate half a million people in a naive, socially retarded and poor community? Interviews with people, who experienced this event first hand, can provide an answer to the question. These people are the "retornados" and, even though this word is already fading away from day-to-day conversations, the Portuguese still remember them well.
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