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

  • Catalina Iannone University of Texas at Austin
Keywords: Branding, nationality, Lusofonia, tourism, urbanity


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.

Author Biography

Catalina Iannone, University of Texas at Austin
Catalina Iannone is a PhD Candidate at The University of Texas at Austin. Her work connects theoretical debates concerning race and nationalism to the changing demographies of twenty-first century Spain and Portugal through the lens of urban space studies. Through her analysis of visual, literary, and filmic texts, she studies the dissemination of identitarian narratives in the context of post-colonialism, neoliberal democracy, and globalization.