COVA DA MOURA - The creole soul of Europe
Since the early ‘60s consistent migratory flows, mainly from ex-colonies, have affected many European states, making the EU contemporary demographic context increasingly characterized by the presence of non-EU citizens. If over the years some dynamics of migration have changed, there is an aspect that has remained constant over time and that often represents the only baggage that the migrant brings with him: his own cultural identity.
Cova da Moura is an area of 20 hectares located in the northern suburbs of Lisbon, built by the first Cape Verdeans who, starting in 1975, the year in which Cape Verde reached independence, began to emigrate to the Lusitanian capital.
As result of the constant migration flow, Cova has become a unique district in the European panorama thanks to its mono-ethnicity: to date, 80% of the approximately 6,000 inhabitants are of Cape Verdean origin, a feature that makes this Lisbon hinterland area a small nation inside the Portuguese State.
The complicated social dynamics of the neighborhood made that, in the common perception, the name of Cova da Moura has become synonymous with fear, social insecurity and violence.
In the narrow and colorful streets of Cova, however, is hidden a cultural heritage, a perceptible sense of belonging of a foreign and immigrant people who, thanks to a strong attachment to their roots, have created a neighborhood reflection of their homeland and expression of their national identity.
Yarin Trotta del Vecchio