Isle of Pleasures

Isle of Pleasures is an installation in collaboration with Pétur Waldorff for the exhibition On Residence: After Belonging, Oslo Architecture Triennale 2016, curated by After Belonging Agency. The exhibition reflects on the topic of migration and how the global flow of people and goods affects our societies and territories. Our project focuses on the particular case of the Portuguese migrants in Angola.

Angola’s booming economy has made Luanda a major destination for international migrants, the majority of whom are ‘returning’ from the former colonial power, Portugal. Most end up living in luxurious condominiums, detached from the vibrant city surrounding their homes and workplaces.

Isle of Pleasures examines the places where the city’s residents go to soothe the stresses of everyday life. Traditionally in Luanda, these were places for people from all walks of life and of all social statuses. However, the ongoing urban regeneration of the city is producing increasing urban and social disparity and segregation. Today, with the relentless regeneration of the city and the proliferation of gated developments and security apparatus, Luanda’s pleasure resorts risk becoming yet another gilded cage for ‘expatriate’ and local elites.

The Isle of Pleasures is a global phenomenon in ‘world-class’ cities. These are places where the elites can revel in luxury, often in the midst of, yet completely detached from, the local population and its social, economic and political context.