African Presence

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The research work developed on the artistic and cultural traditions of Fado dançado led to a new component of BYP’s intervention: research on and dissemination of the African presence in Lisbon and in Portugal, namely in what refers to the places where the people who practiced the traditions of Fado dançado lived.

Within this scope, BYP has developed a number of initiatives in order to invest and diversify the existing cultural and ethnic tourism offer in Lisbon, contributing to raising awareness and the recognition of the important presence of various African peoples in Portugal, since the Moorish period until today, also reinforcing the feeling of belonging specifically in the lusophone communities that live in the city.

BYP promotes the following initiatives:

Guided Tours

Since 2016, Batoto Yetu Portugal’s guided tours, “Discovering Lisbon’s African Heritage”, have been open to the public!

The goal of these tours is to disseminate Lisbon’s African character which is scatttered in a variety of visible and invisible memories and traces today.

During the 2018/2019 school year, BYP also organized free guided tours to middle school students at Casa Pia de Lisboa, I.P. (CED D. Nuno Álvares Pereira) with the aim of disseminating the history of the presence of African peoples in Lisbon (from the Moors to present day) to these students, thus better complementing their curriculum on History of Portugal.

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BYP also wants to enrich these tours through the inauguration of plaques that identify these places, a bust of Pai Paulino (one of the most important figures in the History of the African presence in Lisbon) and a statue in memory of the African presence in Lisbon, thus also creating a tour with physical marks about the African presence in Lisbon that can be covered by any citizen, national or foreigner, who is visiting the capital city.

Under the guidance of Professor Isabel Castro Henriques and in partnership with the Department of Cultural Heritage of the Lisbon Municipal Council and the Office of Lisbon Studies, BYP seeks to produce and inaugurate plaques that demonstrate the most important and representative marks of the African presence in Lisbon.

In a second phase, BYP wants to broaden the scope of this initiative to the Municipality of Oeiras and other relevante places in Portugal.

Conference Cycle

BYP has an ongoing conference cycle under the topic “References of the African Presence in Lisbon” which it seeks to organize during the inaugurations of the plaques in the city as well as in other relevant events. These conferences will be open to the public and free to enter in order to ensure a vast dissemination of the debated topics.

The first conference of this cycle took place with the support of the Portuguese Institute for Youth and Sports and in partnership with Casa Mocambo in December 2018 and can be viewed here.

Training for Tour Guides

With the aim of turning all of this information accessible to the general public, BYP will organize the first edition of a training on the African presence tours aimed at tour guides and tuk tuk drivers.

Academic Research

In partnership with Prof. Isabel Castro Henriques, the Office for Lisbon Studies, Prof. Machado Pais, ISEG/UL, as well as other researchers and institutions, BYP wishes to support the elaboration of new studies and other documents about the history of African presence in Portugal.

These initiatives are supported by: