The roar of the waves: The hijack of Santa Maria. The attack to S. Paulo prison. Military discontent. Civil struggles.

1961: the year of all dangers. Conference, 2011. Fernando Rosas, Historian. University of Coimbra. (Excerpt from description)

The year of 1961 was, for the Salazar regime, a year of all dangers, and it became the dictator’s annus horribilis. In different contexts, several events marked that year, announcing the end of the Portuguese colonial-fascist regime. As one the the CES thematic guidelines focus on deepening the knowledge on the Portuguese-speaking space - and its historical connections - this set of sessions aims at exploring a space which is united by several histories and struggles.

2011 marks the 50th anniversary of that year of all dangers. This is a good occasion to remember facts, often forgotten, listening to their actors, framing them in the common history that unites Portugal and the countries in which its colonial possessions were transformed - or integrated.

Right in the beginning of January, 1961, Angola faces the uprising of Cotonang workers, protesting against the work conditions imposed by the cotton production company. The demonstrations are rapidly repressed by the Portuguese army, but they do announce the beginning of the guerrilla war for the Angolan independence, marked by the attack to S.Paulo prison, in Luanda, on February 4th, and by the armed uprising - which Mário Pinho de Andrade would classify as a “jacquerie” - led by the UPA (Union of Angolan People) on March 15th.