BAHIA 16-19 - Salvador da Bahia: American, European, and African forging of a colonial capital city



Code  . PIRSES-GA-2012-31898

Start . 2012

Duration . 48 months

Principal Investigator . Pedro Cardim (CHAM)





Funding Entity

International Research Staff Exchange Scheme / Marie Curie Actions

Main Research Unit

CHAM - Centro e Humanidades


Coordenator Institution

Universidade Nova de Lisboa


École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales
Universidade Federal da Bahia


Bahia16-19 is a project that focuses on Salvador de Bahia and its historical relationship with the Atlantic area. Bringing together researchers from two European universities (Universidade Nova de Lisboa – Portugal; École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales – France) and a Brazilian university (Universidade Federal da Bahia), the main intention of the project is to convert Salvador into a case-study of the multiple interactions that took place in the Atlantic area between the beginning of Portuguese colonization and the end of the 19th century. 

In Salvador de Bahia, European settlement, native cultures, and African forced migration created a multi-cultural society. As a result, this city was undoubtedly an exceptional place. Covering the period from the 16th century to the post-independence era, the ensemble of research due to be carried out within this project will provide an archive database and innovative contribution to current knowledge.

Bahia16-19 will explore the internal structures of colonial authority, considering the diverse modalities of power relations. The various approaches that the project intends to put into practice will be combined with issues such as the political-administrative communication, the political representation, the process of identity formation, the patterns of social hierarchy, the circulation and interaction of political, social, and cultural models within the imperial territory, and, finally, the relationship between imperial and local dynamics. Bahia 16-19 also intends to understand the nature of the colonial culture, the impact of slavery on the American territories, its imbrications on the Ancien Régime societies, and also the relations and interactions of Bahia with other parts of the Portuguese imperial space, including the metropolis. Finally, the project will also include an examination of the post-independence era and the factors that made possible the continuation of the slave trade between Africa and Brazil until 1850, a phenomenon that greatly impacted Bahia’s social and cultural patterns.




Bahia16-19 is based on the historiographical renovation that occurred in recent years concerning Portuguese America. As is widely known, such renovation was threefold: first, the incorporation of an African perspective into historical surveys; secondly, overcoming a dichotomous vision of the relationship between Brazil and the metropolis; finally, the development of a more integrated Atlantic approach. Bahia 16-19 combines these various interpretive tools and intends to contribute to the knowledge advancement on the history of Bahia and its Atlantic context. 

Bahia enables research with a strong comparative and entangled dimension. It has the advantage of making possible to go beyond the boundaries of national colonial histories. In fact, the very nature of Bahia’s history makes it necessary to take the entirety of the Atlantic space into account: Angola and São Tomé were, as is widely known, dioceses subjected to the archdiocese of Bahia; throughout the early-modern period, governors circulated between Brazil and Angola, successively assuming governorships in each territory; the commercial and trade integration between Brazil and western Africa increased dramatically throughout the 17th and 18th centuries; in addition, hundreds of thousands of Africans were deported – as slaves – to America, thus becoming demographically predominant in many areas of the New World. That was precisely the case of Bahia.

The aim of Bahia 16-19 is therefore to develop:






Pedro Cardim  .  Coordenator 

Antonio Almeida Mendes (EPHE)
Avanete Pereira Sousa (UFBA)
Bruno Feitler (UFBA)
Catarina Madeira Santos (EHESS)
Claudia Damasceno Fonseca (EHESS)
Daniel Pimenta Oliveira de Carvalho (EHESS)
Evergton Sales Souza (UFBA)
Gabriela dos Reis Sampaio (UFBA)
Géraldine Meret (EHESS)
Guida Marques (CHAM)
Hugo Ribeiro da Silva
Jean M. Hébrard (EHESS)
Jean-Frédéric Schaub
João de Figueirôa-Rêgo (CHAM)
João José Reis (UFBA)
João Pedro Gomes (EHESS)
Ligia Bellini (UFBA)
Luis Nicolau Pares (UFBA)
Nuno Senos (NOVA FCSH)