Vidal, Laurent - Mazagão la ville qui traversa l’Atlantique du Maroc à l’Amazonie (1769-1783).

Renata Malcher Araujo
2 páginas

The history of the foundation of Nova Vila de Mazagão presents such unique data that it seems in certain aspects to be more closely related to fiction. This is a city that was literally transported from one continent to another. Obviously it was not the city itself that was transported, with all its buildings, for the 18th century was not equipped with the technology for this purpose, but practically the whole of its population was transferred from the fortress of Mazagão, on the African coast, to the new town of Mazagão, in the depths of Amazonia. It is this shifting city that has interested Laurent Vidal. Or, more precisely, as the author says in the introduction to this book, his study invites us to devote our attention to the “singularity of the city’s waiting and travel times”, which he again confirms in the conclusion, proposing Mazagão as an example “for a social history of waiting”. It is fair to say that, in this sense, the history of Mazagão is particularly seductive and potentially rich, since it includes various examples of how the population literally waited for the successive means of transport that would take them from Mazagão to Lisbon, from Lisbon to Belém, from Belém to Nova Vila de Mazagão. And there is also the metaphorical waiting, the potentially distinct desires that this population nurtured at each of these different moments, what they expected from the Crown (which had obliged them to move) and what the Crown expected from them. Vidal sets out to study all these waiting periods, both the literal and the metaphorical ones, those of the population and those of the Crown. It is in this proposal that one finds both the merit and the risk of this work.