Archives for posts with tag: maputo

Well well well. An idea I casually seeded in my brief time in Maputo has taken on a fantastic life of its own. This wall, which is the outer wall of the @ Verdade newspaper, has been turned into the “Wall of the People”. (The original inspiration came from Candy Chang’s “Before I Die…” project in New Orleans.)


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Trying to write this without resorting to almost ingrained clichés will be difficult. This is not about leaving “Africa” and arriving in “Europe” in winter. It is about my subjective experience as one person living for two intense months in Maputo, at the beginning of a period of self-imposed homelessness.

I wanted to capture the sensory experience – the emptiness of the city on a Sunday – the stifling heat, entering the terminal of the airport, its openness and not-too-cold airconditioning, and realizing that I had “left” Mozambique. The air I would breathe from then on would be airport air. The last rays of sun I would feel would be through massive glass windows. Leaving is always anticlimactic. Unknowingly you often leave before even having stepped on a plane, or crammed the trunk of the car.

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Mais de Luanda que fala para residentes de Maputo

I would like to thank the commander of the Mozambican police who taught me the meaning of a new phrase “Vou te chamboquear!

He taught me yesterday at 11am in the burning sun on the side of the road, here on the opposite side of Maputo’s international airport

It all started when we were stopped by the police in our tuk-tuk at an all too routine traffic control stop, returning from a morning of distributing Mozambique’s free newspaper in the outlying neighborhood of Benfica. The other distributors had already gotten off, in their neighborhoods and it was just Driver and I returning to the city center.

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Urban women “amarrar” (literally “tie on”) capulanas the beautiful print fabrics for special occasions. This image is from a party this weekend for my friend who is about to get married.

A volta a pé, por volta das 19h, é deliciosa. As ruas de Polana não estão completamente vazias, mas há menos trânsito. Menos pessoas. É hora dos morcegos e dos grilos. Os môrcegos, invisíveis e omnipresentes, acompanham os meus passos com  chiados leves, que lembram de andar em neve nova. Os grilos enchem a noite em certos lugares com seu coro potente.

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