Maputo meanderings

The colonial gaze, a subliminal how-to-vote poster from the government, and the red light district – such was my introduction to Mozambique’s capital.

Jane Flood led a city tour for fellows from the International Reporting Project around some of Maputo’s more obscure sites.

One of my favourites from the day was this sculpture at the old fort depicting the chief of Gaza province, Sala Ngungunyane, following his defeat by Portuguese General Joaquim Mouzinho de Albuquerque in 1895.

Ngungunyane was a vassal of the Portuguese empire, who had rebelled, and lived out the rest of his life in exile, first in Lisbon, but later on the island of Terceira, in the Portuguese Azores.

I thought it’d be interesting to capture the sculpture as a triptych – showing not only the traditional, head-on view of the piece but also from the point of view, or line of sight, of the ‘colonial’ and the ‘colonizer’.

Anyway, my travel-lag’s settling in, so here’s a small selection of some of the other pics taken on the walking tour, including: a lachrymose Ngungunyane; recent election posters including one issued by the Frelimo government on how to fill in a ballot form (and who to vote for); a sculpture of a cyclist made from AK-47s; part of Maputo’s red light district, and some of the exhibits (depicting the lack of pediatricians and migrants in Mozambique) in the city’s pretty impressive art gallery.

Marc Ellison is in Mozambique on a trip organized by the International Reporting Project (IRP).