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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The malicious football game: urban interactions and power relations in Lourenšo Marques, capital of colonial Mozambique
Author:Domingos, Nuno
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies (ISSN 1465-3893)
Geographic term:Mozambique
urban life
colonial history
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/03057070.2015.1013737
Abstract:Focusing on the game of football performed in the outskirts of Lourenšo Marques, the capital of colonial Mozambique, today's Maputo, this article aims to demonstrate how the colonial situation in Mozambique during the last decades of Portuguese rule could be interpreted through the social and moral values that emerged from the dominant interactions in football matches. Association football is the grammatical basis for the construction of a particular language, which is the outcome of a contextual and porous adaptation to the surrounding colonial world, and is translated into the gestures and movements of football players, the individual cells of this shared idiom. In seeking to recover the contextual meaning of this language, the article will argue that the space of play, initially idealised as a locus of education by local African elites in the 1920s and 1930s, and afterwards criticised by colonial modernisers as a symptom of degeneration, possible political subversion and lack of economic productivity, was ultimately a field where the truth of the economy of symbolic practices and exchanges, which characterised everyday life in the suburbs of Lourenšo Marques in the final stages of Portuguese rule in Mozambique, reigned. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]