The Fortress

There’s a corner in the heart of this town frequently forgotten by the majority of us. Yet, it is a nice place to visit from time to time. I am talking about the Fortress of Maputo, situated downtown, next to the port.

Our excuse to go to the fortress was Photo Festa, an international photo exhibition currently held in Maputo. The five different exhibitions announced seemed a strong reason to leave the comfort of our home on a Sunday afternoon.

After the positive impression left by Namibian photographer Helga Kohl, we were expecting a lot more at the fortress. The first exhibition room was occupied by Brazilian Milton Guran and his look over the poor and colorful world of favelas. “Rio de Olhos Abertos” is a sample of Guran’s possibilities but, in my opinion, a very limited one for an international event.

The second room was even worse. Knowing perfectly well the extend of investigation realized by German Annett Bourquin, I was surprised to see Pancho Guedes’ architectural work so poorly portrayed.

The third room, occupied by Austrians Klaus Hollinetz, Michael Pilz and Werner Puntigam, was the worst deception of them all. It just gave us the same old impression of photographers that have a simplistic vision of Africa, although the theme itself was a little restrictive. Next to this room it was possible to see RSA talents like John Fleetwood, Ingrid Masondo and Wilson Johwa. Unfortunately, I lost a beautiful photograph of the Market Photo Workshop group.

When I was almost turning my back to the exhibition rooms, a gentle Mozambican lady suggested me to go on: “You must see the last room. It is occupied by Mozambican photographers!”

I am so grateful for her advice! At least I can say that my visit to the fortress was worthwhile. Mozambican photography is alive, positive and shows a deep understanding of this country and its wonderful people.

Para quem leu a entrada de ontem, sobretudo alguns leitores em português, devo esclarecer que o JP já não vai dar beijos de despedida a ninguém porque parte amanhã de Durban para o Golfo do México.

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