Angola is not a small country
Installation at Unmapping the World, Experimenta Design
curated by Annelys de Vet and Nuno Coelho
Palacio dos Condes da Calheta, Lisbon Portugal, 9.11 - 22.12.2013

Photography © Experimenta
EXD13 Publico

"Angola is not a small country" is a collection of visual elements and artifacts, addressing questions related to Angola in the colonial and postcolonial context, from close and distant perceptions.

In 1934, Henrique Galvão created a map titled "Portugal is not a small country", representing the territories of the Portuguese overseas colonies over a map of Europe. This cartographic illusion aimed at proving the supposed greatness of the "Empire" in comparison to the actual tininess of mainland Portugal. Over the dictatorship period (until 1974), the map would contribute to the perpetuation of the myth of Portugal as a great imperialist nation.

Many years have passed and the colonial paradigm has shifted. Angola, former Portuguese colony, became an independent country and an economic superpower fuelled by a burgeoning oil industry. Luanda, the capital, has attracted thousands of Portuguese in search of prosperity. At the same time, Angolan investments are influencing as never before many sectors in the economic structure of the former colonizer nation.

"Angola is not a small country" is a provocative representation of the current relationship between Portugal and Angola. It is an ironic exercise, not only for its appropriation of Galvão’s original work, but also for its effective translation of the zeitgeist. In this installation, the map is supported by a collection of artifacts arising from everyday observations, academic research and architectural practice.







Ipsilon Publico 17.11.2013
: Ipsilon Publico 17.11.2013