Lisbon: an alternate narrative
So many wonders in Europe were built due to the wealth that came out of colonization efforts. As an art historian who lectures on such monuments & the “winning side of history” - I feel very conflicted by this. Man, are these places wonderful to look at + phenomenal examples of architecture & the arts one can appreciate. But that really is only one side of the story... I urge consideration of whose hands actually laid each stone & from where the money came to fund such extravagance... -
Portugal was arguably the first maritime conquerer of the Southern Hemisphere. One of the first to bring African, Asian & South American slaves to Europe by way of colonization. It was also, during its time of discoveries (& exploitation of material such as gold from Brazil) the richest country - even richer than the Vatican. Why do I love Portugal today? Honestly it’s sad but also humbling that Lisbon lost 85% of its city in one wipe out from an earthquake in 1755 ... and that Portugal lost the rest of “its” colonies over time to other European countries or regain of colony independence. Over time, Portugal has neutralized itself taking caution with political stances in the world wars & took a huge hit during the recent recession. It is today one of the most accepting countries of refugees, especially from Africa.