"Angola is not a small Kingdom"
A pop-up show at The Gopher Hole, London UK (April 5, 2012)

The Gopher Hole Domus

Ten years have passed since the end of Angola’s civil war, in 2002. Since then, the country’s neoliberal trajectory, fuelled by the burgeoning oil industry, has turned its capital, Luanda, into the World’s most expensive city. However, current debates fall short on grasping the numerous stakeholders in Angola’s recent development, mainly because they fail to embrace aspects of urban “informality”.
This show delves into the hidden territories of Luanda, which turns out to be far more complex than a commonplace “global city” surrounded by desperate “informal settlements”. Which aspects tie the urban continuum together? How does the city work?
A collection of visual elements and artifacts, produced during on-site participatory workshops and off-site research and editing, contribute to address these questions. The materials result from an ongoing dialogue between planning entities and city-dwellers, ranging from local authorities and citizens, to NGOs and architecture students.
The pop-up show will include the screening of two short films featuring testimonies from Angolan urban migrants and former Portuguese colonizers, focusing on social and spatial circumstances before and after Angola’s independence (1975). The launch of a book edited by Paulo Moreira – consisting of a comprehensive compilation of original contributions by emerging and established experts, practitioners and researchers from different fields, reflecting the contents of the exhibition – will be followed by a closing party.

Video by Pedro Lino:

Photography © Robert Chandler