Invented Difference: On Inter-Culturality in Mouraria’s Mercado de Fusão

Catalina Iannone


In this article, I study the development of Mouraria’s Mercado de Fusão in the context of what I term "Invented Difference"—a marketing strategy that capitalizes on a utopist multiculturalism that lacks historicity and continuity—as a means by which to unpack how twenty-first-century multicultural space is produced in Lisbon, a rapidly changing city with a booming tourist economy. Through this lens, I analyze the market’s visual and material landscape—specifically its sculptures and food kiosks—to bring together questions regarding the mobilization of multiculturalism in urban redevelopment while taking into consideration the legacy of race relations in Portugal’s neoliberal present. I assert that the Mercado de Fusão project speaks to the broader ideological implications of tourist-centric development initiatives in Lisbon.


Branding; nationality; Lusofonia; tourism; urbanity

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