HuBB Debate Date #5 – Pride and Prejudice: Collective Memory in Portugal
14 October 2019 - lisbon

Every first Thursday of the month Impact Hub hosts an event together withh our friends from the collective HuBB – Humans Before Borders.

This event is called HuBB Debate Date and it aims to make the space for a informal and fun conversation about borders, migration, and identity.
On Thursday, the 3rd of October – the proposed date for European Day of Memory and Welcome we took a look at the collective memory of Portugal. We started the evening by sharing a lovely italian-cooked vegetarian pasta – everyone had the chance to mingle, chat and have a laugh, warming us all up for the debate.

HUBB Debate impact hub lisbon event
The moderator started the debate by giving some different definitions of collective memory, everyone present had the chance to validate the given definitions and add to them. Once all could agree on the terms to be used, we shifted the conversation to the Discovery era in Portugal and how it is depicted in the school books as a period of great achievements and the Portuguese golden age, much often neglecting the contribution of slavery to the richest time in the country’s history.
A big debate opened up on the difference between collective memory and History. In the end, we agreed on disagreeing but we did agree that in school books a certain narrative is depicted. So the next questions asked were ‘Who is this narrative serving?’ and ‘How come it’s taking so long to change?’ Some very good points came about, for instance most of the teachers of today grew up in a country where this was the only narrative, collective memories take a long time to change, and trauma can also slow down the process. By the end of the debate, a suggestion came up to organise one about Historical Reparations.
As we hoped, this event made the space to have a meaningful conversation, to put everyone’s arguments to test and for everyone to learn something about what it means to have a collective memory. We’re looking forward to the next HuBB Debate Date on the 7th of November!