Pedro Pires Institute for Cape Verdean Studies

Institute for Cape Verdean Studies

Through scholarly research and social engagement, the Pedro Pires Institute for Cape Verdean Studies fosters knowledge production and dissemination, while highlighting the culture of Cape Verde.

April 8, 2014

Dear Reader,

Greetings, from the Pedro Pires Institute for Cape Verdean Studies at Bridgewater State University!

The institute is a new entity created specifically for a more rigorous academic and social engagement with Cape Verde and the Cape Verdean experiences both here and in the diaspora. As you may know, the socio-historical trajectory of Cape Verdeans is somewhat complex given Cape Verde’s connections to institutions such as slavery, imperialism/colonialism, migration and demographic shifts. Because of this history, in a sense, Cape Verde experienced globalization some 5oo years ago and a current analysis of Cape Verdean experiences and identities is particularly important for a broader understanding of the complex social dynamics that we experience today.

At the Pedro Pires institute for Cape Verdean Studies, we are taking on this challenge by forging paths that allow for creating, sharing and disseminating knowledge of the history and culture of Cape Verde through a rigorous engagement with scholarship. Grounded in a rich historical past, with a solid foundation in the present and an eye on the future, the institute aims to become the center of Cape Verdean studies worldwide through the development of publication outlets, the creation of documental archives, and the general promotion of academic works focusing on Cape Verde, the diaspora and Cape Verdean experiences and identities.

We invite you to be part of the writing of this narrative-in-the-making as a collective endeavor that values the experiences of past struggles, celebrates current feats and engages challenges as well as future opportunities.


Joao J. Rosa, PhD
Executive Director


The Institute for Cape Verdean Studies at Bridgewater State University studies, shares and celebrates the culture, language and history of Cape Verde as one of the world’s earliest Creole Societies. Through rigorous academic pursuits, community engagement and global partnerships, the institute serves as a vibrant resource for all who wish to deepen their understanding, contribute knowledge, and learn from the uniqueness of the Cape Verdean experience.

Monthly Spotlight

Featured Poet

Ovidio Martins (1928-1999)

Born in Sao Vicente in September of 1928, Cape Verdean poet and journalist Ovidio Martins’ powerful poetry is a testament to the struggles of a people. His activities in the promotion of national independence earned him both prison and exile.


“Nós somos os flagelados do Vento-Leste!

A nosso favor
não houve campanhas de solidariedade
não se abriram os lares para nos abrigar
e não houve braços estendidos fraternamente para nós

Somos os flagelados do Vento-Leste!

O mar transmitiu-nos a sua perseverance
Aprendemos com o vento o bailar na desgraça
As cabras ensinaram-nos a comer pedras para não perecermos
Somos os flagelados do Vento-Leste!


Morremos e ressuscitamos todos os anos
para desespero dos que nos impedem a caminhada
Teimosamente continuamos de pé
num desafio aos deuses e aos homens

E as estiagens já não nos metem medo
porque descobrimos a origem das coisas
(quando pudermos!...)

Somos os flagelados do Vento-Leste!

Os homens esqueceram-se de nos chamar irmãos
E as vozes solidárias que temos sempre escutado
São apenas as vozes do mar
que nos salgou o sangue
as vozes do vento
que nos entranhou o ritmo do equilíbrio
e as vozes das nossas montanhas

estranha e silenciosamente musicais

Nós somos os flagelados do Vento-Leste!"


                                                                                 Ovidio Martins