Resources: Building a Global World: Migrants Across the Atlantic – Local2Global

One of the main concerns in Europe today is the “migration crisis”. There are almost a billion migrants around the world. Europe is one of the most popular destinations. This situation requires political action. However, any action can only be effective if the dynamics of emigration are understood over the long term. Local2Global is inspired by the mass migration of people with different religious, linguistic, social and cultural backgrounds. Taking the local as a field of observation, it analyzes the construction of a global world through the actions of individual agents and communities (Antunes & Polónia, 2016).

Local2Global focuses on the flow of migrants from the Azores Islands to Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul and the outskirts of southern Brazil in the 18th century. Much is already known about their numbers, but their lives, family backgrounds and individual profiles are largely unknown. The analysis to be undertaken is particularly pertinent, as it shows that migratory flows have never been unidirectional, but have also involved return journeys.

Historiography has emphasized the role of the Crown in regulating migratory flows to Brazil in the 18th and 19th centuries. From the beginning of the century. In the 18th century, several thousand Azorean couples and individuals moved to Brazil as the Portuguese Crown struggled to consolidate its colonial presence. Their main function was to populate the territories of the south, which were in dispute with the Spanish crown. In 1748 alone, around 5,500 Azoreans, including a considerable number of women, landed on the island of Santa Catarina, generating a population increase of 140%.

Local2Global helps to better understand adaptation mechanisms. In addition to the flow of people, migration always involves the transfer of knowledge and experience. Local2Global analyzes these transfers in contact zones and their impact on the host territories in terms of ecology, health, food, material culture and behavior. Cultural values, economic configurations and the transfer of biological species will be analyzed, along with the transmission of diseases. The symbiotic processes originating from the exchange of animals, plants, seeds, but also bacteria, viruses and diseases, as well as ecological damage and the destruction of indigenous cultures, are conceptualized as “ecological imperialism” (Crosby, 2003). Local2Global goes beyond this perspective, analyzing these issues in a more complex way. Local2Global’s innovative approach lies in perceiving local people, environments and cultures as active players in this historical equation.

By contributing to international scientific research on transoceanic migrations, the project proposes cutting-edge interdisciplinary research derived from the premises of postcolonial studies and new approaches to ecological interactions (Polónia & Pacheco, 2017). This includes accessing and analyzing new universes of data.

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Research Group:
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