Language, power and mutual dependencies

Interpreters and justice administration in Colonial Mozambique, 1895-1974

16. Juni 2023

In his PhD Project, Mauro Armando Adelino Manhanguele seeks to understand the role played by African interpreters in the colonial administration with particular emphasis on the justice system. By focusing on the case of Mozambique, he assumes that these agents not only participated in the creation of colonial law but also produced it. His main argument is that African interpreters in Mozambique had power that went beyond simply facilitating communication between colonisers and colonised. Instead, they had leeway to manipulate the translations according to their own objectives, making it possible to assert their power in the social, political and legal spheres.


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