A War Kept: photography of Portuguese soldiers in Angola, Guinea Bissau and Mozambique (1961-74)

Museu do Aljube Resistência e Liberdade 13 de janeiro a 20 de março, 3ª a dom, 10h-18h

During their years at war, thousands of the young recruits sent to Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique took photos of what surrounded them: their comrades, barracks, landscapes, daily life, the civilian population, and the military apparatus. These images managed to evade the censorship of the regime, and were stored away or sent by mail as proof of their distant lives.

Some of these men built improvised darkrooms, others managed to access official ones. Many visited photography shops that flourished as a consequence of the demand generated by the war, and many bought and exchanged images. All this created the photographic archives of which we here present a part.

Sixty years after the beginning of the conflict, some of the veterans’ collections have been destroyed, as if this gesture could erase the past. Others became orphaned when their owners disappeared. But many, kept in albums or boxes, in analogue or digital format, still survive, and are shown in restricted circles or shared on social networks.

A War Kept explores personal collections of men who were once soldiers. Coming from all over Portugal, they portray a distant place and time, and reveal a war as it was experienced but also imagined. Both banal and extraordinary, they reveal the many worlds of a long and anachronistic war that a dictatorship sent them to fight. We hope they will encourage and inspire a broader debate. 


Curators: Maria José Lobo Antunes e Inês Ponte

Collections and Participants: Arquivo Aveiro e Cultura, Albano Costa Pereira, Antonino Pereira, António Barros, António Fernando Gonçalves, António Vilela, António Silvestre, Ângelo Teixeira, Boaventura Martins, Carlos Mendes, Casimiro Silva, Francisco Gomes, Fernando Penim Redondo, Fernando Silvestre, Fotosíntese/Buala, Gabriel Marques, Horácio Marcelino, João Freitas, João Gameiro, João Sousa, Joaquim Augusto Carvalho, Joaquim Cunha, Joaquim Silva, Joaquim Tomaz Soares, José Nunes Afonso, José Alves, José Cunha, José Freire, José Fernando Sousa, José Lopes, José Lourenço, José Pinto, José Rodrigues de Almeida, Luciano Leal, Luis Correa de Sá, Luis Mata, Manuel Carvalho, Manuel Rosa, Mário Martins, Mário Silva, Virgilio Santos

Invited Artists: Daniel Barroca, Patricia Barbosa, Rita Neves, Maria Gonzaga

Photographic Cameras: Fernando Penim Redondo

Exhibition Display  and Design: Ophelia Estúdio

Audio: Ana Coelho, Filipe Fernandes, Luis Ferraz, Miguel Ramos, Rosário Melo (Confederação), AP Silvestre, Inês Ponte 

Project Management ICS-ULisboa: Eugénia Rodrigues, Pellegrino Cammino, Telma Vinhas

by Inês Ponte and Maria José Lobo Antunes
Vou lá visitar | 5 January 2022 | angola, Guinea Bissau, mozambique, photography, war