The fortieth anniversary of Portuguese decolonisation of Africa has acted as a catalyst in discussing how Portugal ‘imagined’ colonial politics through moving images and how these propagandist portrayals began to be questioned by the Portuguese ‘Novo Cinema’. This can be seen in works that were censured and prohibited. Portuguese colonial cinematographic representations were later challenged by films made in the context of the liberation movements and by images that emerged out of the national cinematographic projection (Frodon) of the new Portuguese-speaking African countries.
The exhibition is designed through a long voyage: from Southern Africa to Brazil, from Angola’s post‐independence to the author’s interior exile, from the desert to the sea, from his obsessions to his hesitations, from family commitments to a demanding loneliness, from the long war to the analysis of its implications, from his detailed field diaries to the game of mirrors between observer and observed.
Ruy Duarte de Carvalho
November 5, 1975 marked the 132nd year anniversary of the slave rebellion at the Triumvirato sugar plantation in Matanzas province, led by an enslaved African woman named Carlota. As one of the first acts in her liberation campaign, Carlota, accompanied by her captains, made her way to another plantation, Arcana, where a number of co-conspirators were being held in captivity following an uprising there in August of that year’s incendiary summer, when Africans and their descendants rose up against their enslavers throughout the province. As word spread of Carlota’s successes, one estate after another erupted in insurrection—San Miguel, Concepción, San Lorenzo, and San Rafael.
The subtitle of this issue works both ways: practices of resistance and spaces of invention, practices of invention and spaces of resistance. Even if we think in terms of productive power relations, we still use the word “resistance” in reference to those practices and spaces that emerge in moments of antagonist tension: e.g., when measures imposed by governmental institutions and the lack of perspectives for the future are individually and collectively felt as being oppressive.
Games Without Borders
For other mediums such as sound art and video art to gain traction in Afrika, I think they need to be taken out of the gallery or museum environment and put into the mobile environment where people are. This entails modifying the model of collecting, where alternative commercial models better suited to mobile consumption of content come to the fore. The onus is on these new art platforms in Afrika to look deep within their cultures and societies and innovate the mediums themselves to make art more relevant for their communities.
BRASIL is a photobook project that is the result of eight years of photographing culture, landscape, architecture and the visual magic I found in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Salvador de Bahia. Made on analog film, the photographs are personal portraits that illuminate a fluid, syncopated, and complex contemporary Brazil, seen through the lens of my Rolleiflex camera.
That same evening, Pedro Coquenão, aka Batida, had a Skype meeting planned with one of the activists to talk about “family stuff.” It obviously didn’t go through– his friend had been arrested. The 40 year-old Angolan-born, Lisboa-raised-and-based musician and creative is also an active voice and mind for an evolved and more equal Angolan society– a facet revealed by Coquenão throughout the years as a radio host in Portugal and a DIY documentary director and a musician, first as DJ Mpula and now as Batida.
Face to face
If we accept that racism, sexism and other forms of oppression exist within language, then we must also recognize that it is through language – or languages – that oppression can be unmasked and combated. How? By allowing its structural, inclusive and persistent appeal to flow within the language towards creation and domesticated plurality. Linguistically created identities are not necessarily impenetrable frontiers or oppressive walls raised against the Other, but rather celebrations of every person’s multicolored singularity.
From a queer perspective, their analysis through the prism of the intersection between different categories of power, such as race, gender, and sexuality is certainly of great interest, as is realizing that both have influenced, and still influence, several queer "black" visual and musical artistic expressions, in the USA and the UK as well as in Jamaica, such as soul, hip hop, rap, bouncing, voguing..
We resume our exploration of African queer cinema, thus extending the Queer Focus on Africa cycle featured in the Queer Lisboa festival last year. This time, we’re leaving Africa proper behind for the American and British world, thus reiterating one of our premises... the extension of "African" and "African-ness" that is part of AFRICA.CONT, a cultural force abroad in the world, much as a current in the ocean: integral to the whole but with movements and temperatures all its own - in the beautiful imagery of Achille Mbembe. We are certainly eager to explore the realities that this current embodies in its Central and South American, European and Asian diasporas.
The work of Gilberto Freyre demonstrates his singular conception of time, merging past, present and future. Such conception shows us the ambiguities and contradictions when he speaks of the luso-tropical community. At times, he presents it as a past reality, dated from the 15th and 16th centuries, other times as a living, present reality, and other times even as future, destiny, idealization. It is mainly as a project that the idea of a luso-tropical community survived its author after the Portuguese empire ended. And it continues to this day in the Community of Portuguese Language Countries and in the more consensual political and ideological discourse about Portugal’s position in the world.
The current situation tells us in what way we should create empathy with the images of the world. Or how the images of the world are themselves empathy, understanding. An abstract economical system that obsessively copies the natural chaos.
Distribution, or relationship. The act of transaction and of eternal and permanent conflict.
Revolutionary female figures, such as Josina Machel, for example, are represented as saints, without bodily form. For me, Yvone Kane should in a way, be represented like Josina Machel. There is a very chaste side to revolutionaries, as if the women were perfect. Not even in the history books do we find out who they really were.
Face to face
Human hair was already being sold long before capitalism; the sale of human milk was common in ancient Rome and this was even a source of income for many women during the Industrial Revolution. But the first example was not an exchange of commodities in the modern sense, nor in the latter was there any recognition of women as true self-owners. The sale of blood, permitted during most of the twentieth century, was perhaps one of the first generalized ways in which self-ownership left the abstract “straitjacket” of labour power and extended to a physical element of the body, albeit renewable, thus allowing for an additional or last resort income for the most vulnerable self-owners.
It is simply not acceptable in our day and age to show oneself incapable of truly appreciating the sincere feelings and worldview of others, while at the same time stroking one’s own ego and praising openmindedness and respect for differences at every turn! This inability to look at oneself objectively results from sheer autism.
Face to face