Joacine Katar Moreira
Popular among the three women is Joacine Katar Moreira, an anti-racism activist who was a member of the Livre (Free) party, becoming its first and only politician elected to parliament. The 37-year-old researcher at the University Institute of Lisbon was born in Guinea-Bissau, and moved to Lisbon, Portugal when she was just eight years old to attend boarding school. In October 2019 when she was elected, it was the second time she was standing for the Livre party.
Moreira, who became a Portuguese national in 2003, said during her victory speech that she would become the voice of “anti-racism” and “leftwing radical feminism” in parliament.
Founder of the Black Women Institute in Portugal (INMUNE), an anti-racist organisation formed in 2018, she protested against plans to establish a museum in Lisbon dedicated to the country’s colonial past.
“It would only reinforce Portuguese colonial ideology, which portrays that period as heroic and simply glosses over the glaring issues of slavery, mass killings and other abuses. There are already so many statues and monuments paying homage to that moment in history. We don’t need another one, which, like the others, would be an instrument for stroking national self-esteem,” she wrote in an open letter in 2018 against the construction of the museum.
Following the October elections, an online-petition attempted to stop her from taking office, saying that her supporters were seen waving Guinea-Bissau’s flags at her victory celebration. She responded on Twitter: “People who suddenly dream of my resignation… contributing nothing and undermining everything, or signing petitions, listen: this has always been a war for people like me.”