Some of the most potent analyses of past and present migratory crises, whether prompted by political, ethnic, or religious persecution, war, environmental catastrophe, or economic dispossession, have been produced through the visual arts. Privileged artistic subjectivity should never be conflated with that of a destitute migrant or refugee; however, artists themselves have often wished, chosen, or been forced to migrate to begin diasporic lives elsewhere. In this movement, they cross regional, national, continental, as well as cultural borders.1 Some have been able to return home; of course, their migratory experiences impact the questions raised and the work they produce upon homecoming. Drawing mostly on my research on Lusophone Africa—Angola, in particular—as well as on European diasporic spaces such as Portugal, I shall attend to the concrete ways in which African artists have critically examined a “fortress” Europe that is in denial of its colonial past.2 I shall also attend to an “archipelagic” Africa, which, despite efforts otherwise, is still marked by patterns of mobility (or the desire for it) inherited from colonialism. Despite the formal end of European colonialism on the continent, both Europe and Africa remain spaces of entrenched coloniality, to whose deconstruction cultural and artistic critical discourse has decisively, while also often limitedly, contributed. I shall later elaborate on these ideas through the lens of artworks by Edson Chagas (Angola, b. 1977), Kiluanji Kia Henda (Angola, b. 1979), and Mónica de Miranda (Portugal, b. 1976).

Working from a variety of personal backgrounds against all sorts of essentialism, African and Afrodiasporic artists have addressed the historical and contemporary complexities of migration, identity, and belonging (see Gilroy 1993). Most notably, artists have produced work informed by the violence of the colonial encounter and its postand neocolonial aftermaths. The migratory artist necessarily negotiates disparate, even contradictory, experiences of belonging, from which an ethical and political positioning may arise. That is to say, through migration, a sense of shared, communal dwelling in the world can emerge: one that is comfortable with a mobile and future-oriented inhabiting of routes across geographies, histories, and cultures, rather than anxious to delineate origins and roots, borders and frontiers (Clifford 1997; see also Glissant 1997, Mbembe 2016, 2010). Of course, such a critical cosmopolitanism, potentially born from the migratory loss of home, can only truly occur when experienced by more than just a few privileged subjects. This situation requires our relentless examination of the systemic limits that global capitalism imposes on a politics and ethics of migration. One focus, of course, should be on the African continent, ridden as it has been by European colonial and neocolonial oppression, predation, and extraction for the benefit of Western and Eastern corporations and African elites (see Ferguson 2006). Another crucial focus should be on Europe, conveniently oblivious of its past colonial conquests and erecting itself ever more in the guise of a fortress, against the delusional danger of an annihilating invasion by black bodies that quickly turn into drowned black corpses at its Mediterranean gates.

The multiple complexities of migration have been significantly analysed by Angolan artists. Angola was occupied by the Portuguese for five centuries and indelibly marked by the transatlantic trade of enslaved people to the Americas. The violent history of hinterland settlement began with the so-called pacification campaigns following the Berlin Conference of 1884–1885 and continued thereafter with postabolition forced labor (legal until the 1960s), among many other forms of exploitation (see Monteiro 2018). Angola endured thirteen years of liberation warfare culminating in independence (1961–1975)), and then twenty-seven years of civil war that took place both within and beyond the geopolitics of the Cold War (1975–2002).3 Following the end of socialism, the country has gone through a process of economic liberalization, first from the late 1980s to the early 1990s and increasingly since the end of the civil war in 2002. The period of accelerated growth in the 2000s was marked by the consolidation of an oil-financed oligarchic and kleptocratic capitalism, making the country totally dependent on oil revenues (Soares de Oliveira 2015). The decrease in oil prices from 2014 onwards has caused a severe economic and financial crisis, from which the country is still trying to recover. Migration experienced by Angolans, including artists, has been variously determined by these colonial and postcolonial histories— notably, by the long civil war for the younger generation, born after 1975.4 The ways in which migration is examined in these artists' works reflect the historical and contemporary condition of Africa in a globalized world. After broadly looking at how this generation has diversely lived through migration in between postcolonial Angola, Portugal, and beyond, I shall analyse how these themes unfold concretely in some of their artworks.

The departure from Angola to study and/or work abroad, an experience shared by most Angolan artists born after 1975, was strongly motivated by the civil war. Men looked to avoid conscription through migration, but the majority found no escape from the war. Its effects were felt in many ways across all levels of Angolan society, and those families with the diasporic connections and economic capacity to send their sons and daughters abroad did not hesitate to do so. These were mostly, although not exclusively, urban, Luanda-based families with ties to the ruling party, the MPLA. The migratory trajectories of these Angolan artists—to Portugal, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, Holland, Germany, France, Monaco, Cuba, Brazil, Zimbabwe, South Africa, the United States, etc.—and the multiple ways in which migrations have necessarily impacted their work disturb any fixed, stable, and essentialist sense of Africanness. At the same time, however, their practice suggests that the African continent in general, and Angola in particular, constitute a central place from, of, and to which they speak. In fact, since the end of the civil war, some of the artists living in the diaspora have returned to Angola (Edson Chagas, Binelde Hyrcan, Keyezua, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Ana Silva), while others remain connected to the country from abroad (Yonamine, Délio Jasse, Ihosvanny, Januário Jano, Alida Rodrigues), and others have yet to exhibit their work there (Alice Marcelino).

This generation includes artists of Angolan descent who, although not born in the country, have inherited their families' memories and experiences. The familial and personal histories of Grada Kilomba, Mónica de Miranda, and Francisco Vidal exemplify the ways in which the broader political, economic, social, and cultural entanglements between Portugal, Angola, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Cape Verde (not to mention Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique, Portugal's other former colonial holdings) produced colonial and postcolonial migratory routes (back) to, and cultural and racial diasporic formations in, the former metropole. While these artists are Portuguese by birth, their cultural identities between Europe and Africa, Portugal and Angola, reflect a European postcolonial condition where cultural lives necessarily preclude any homogenous concepts of identity and nation. To further—and positively—complicate this state of things, all three have lived their own migratory experiences: Vidal in New York and Luanda, Miranda in London (and both now live in Lisbon), and Kilomba in Berlin (where she still lives).

The Portuguese diasporic context excludes black and other racialized subjects (including migrants, nationals, and those who, although born in Portugal, are not Portuguese due to the primacy of the ius sanguinis over the ius soli of the nationality law),5 and even more so black women, who remain structurally and institutionally barred from a full political, economic, social, and cultural citizenship. These artists' works, alongside those of the Angola-born artists who exhibit regularly in Portugal, disseminate the still invaluable lessons of an identity politics that might elsewhere be perceived as somewhat outdated or excessively divisive. Portugal was the last of the European nations to abandon its African colonies, only doing so because a bloody and unwinnable war—waged in Angola, Guinea-Bissau, and Mozambique (1961–1974)—culminated in the Carnation Revolution's overthrow of the Estado Novo dictatorial regime (1926–1974). Portugal has since cultivated both amnesia around the inconvenient truths of colonial violence and exploitation and nostalgia for the lost glory of the so-called discoveries and the empire. Such amnesia and nostalgia have been repackaged as benevolent and fraternal Portuguese influence around the world, notably in the formerly colonized African countries, through the political-, economic- and cultural-diplomacy project of lusofonia.6 If a political decolonization took place in 1974–1975, epistemic, psychic, and institutional ones did not. Without confounding a privileged diasporic subject with a destitute and racialized national, migrant, or refugee, and without falling into the dangerous traps of essentialism, a politics and ethics of migration in Portugal must be deeply attuned to the urgency of intersectional antiracist, feminist, and anticapitalist struggles.7 Despite the specificity of each context, such struggles, particularly the feminist and anticapitalist, remain similarly urgent in Angola.

Artists such as Edson Chagas, Kiluanji Kia Henda, and Mónica de Miranda, among others, have raised pressing issues around migration, identity, and difference in powerfully inventive ways between Angola and Portugal, Africa and Europe. In Found Not Taken (2008-ongoing) (Fig. 1), Edson Chagas's performative actions of walking, finding, and relocating abandoned banal objects to be photographed against the backdrop of urban façades in cities he has inhabited—London; Newport, Wales; Luanda—intend to critically reflect on increasingly global patterns of mediatized and waste-producing mass consumption (or its desire) (see Balona de Oliveira 2015a, 2016, 2017a, 2018a). Chagas proposes alternative, slowed-down relationships to urban space through a sort of relational “retrieval” and rearrangement in space of objects that mass consumption has discarded. As the title of the series indicates, the objects are found, but not taken, acquired, or consumed—except as images—and are, instead, repositioned and reactivated by an artistic recycling of sorts. They become the photographer's fellow travellers for a while, always to be returned to (a renewed spatial relation to) the city. Found Not Taken has a personal, biographical quality which, if not obvious, is nonetheless relevant. It is marked by the experience of displacement and estrangement, first in London and Newport, and afterwards in Luanda, where the long experience of migration and the changes found in the postwar, fast-growing, increasingly gentrified urban landscape prevented any easy and immediate sense of homecoming. Migration and isolation, the urban experience of commuting amid the crowds in London and Newport, and the continued search for a lost familiarity upon his return to Angola are at the core of Chagas's cartographic and archival impulses.8

1

Edson Chagas Untitled (Luanda, Angola) (2009) From the series Found Not Taken (2008-ongoing) Chromogenic process (C-Print); 80 cm × 120 cm

1

Edson Chagas Untitled (Luanda, Angola) (2009) From the series Found Not Taken (2008-ongoing) Chromogenic process (C-Print); 80 cm × 120 cm

But Chagas gathers transient catalogues and lived encyclopaedias by walking across several sorts of borders. When Found Not Taken was exhibited in the context of Luanda, Encyclopedic City (Fig. 2)—the exhibition curated by Beyond Entropy, which won the Golden Lion for the Angolan Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013—Chagas's performative-photographic encyclopaedia of Luanda “occupied” Venice's Palazzo Enciclopedico, the overarching theme of that year's biennial and title of the main exhibition curated by Massimiliano Gioni (2013), and, more literally, the Palazzo Cini, amid its collection of Renaissance masterpieces.9 This northward movement of occupation recalled and symbolically countered Europe's centuries-old exploitation and stereotypical representation of Africans and the ways in which Eurocentric historical and artistic narratives, including those of Venice and the biennial, have oten omitted, while appropriating, African knowledge and practice. But Chagas and Beyond Entropy made Luanda circulate further: Visitors were invited to take away the photographs, printed as posters and stacked in sculptural sets of varying heights placed on wooden pallets on the floor, in order to make their own version of the catalogue and disseminate the exhibition within and beyond the urban space of Venice. The way the images circulated contained a suggestion of dislocation and movement different from those of capital and commodities and reminiscent of the process of their making.10

2

Edson Chagas Found Not Taken (2008-ongoing) Installation view, Angola Pavillion, Luanda, Encyclopedic City, 55th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, 2013 © Edson Chagas; courtesy of the artist and A Palazzo Gallery, Brescia

2

Edson Chagas Found Not Taken (2008-ongoing) Installation view, Angola Pavillion, Luanda, Encyclopedic City, 55th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, 2013 © Edson Chagas; courtesy of the artist and A Palazzo Gallery, Brescia

The several geographic coordinates of Chagas's affective cartography, between South and North, Africa and Europe, migratory displacements and the embrace of an active, unhomely process of unbelonging as the inevitable but also positive outcome of the migratory experience—one which reveals clearly the mythic, unreal nature of supposedly stable identities and circumscribed origins (see Bhabha 1994)—is also evident in Tipo Passe (2012–2014) (Fig. 3) (Balona de Oliveira 2015b & 2017b). Here, the artist presents us with his own version of a possible collection of large-scale passportlike photos of African global citizens (or Afropolitans, in line with Mbembe 2010). The faces of these potential travellers are “identified” by several types of traditional African masks, with all sorts of forms, colors, patterns, and provenances in the African continent, sometimes disrupting national borders (and evincing how artificially they were drawn at the Berlin Conference), and by the hybrid, mixed-origin names (both African and European) given in the titles. These passportlike images can only subvert the logic of defining origins and circumscribing borders that is inherent to the identification documents for which they are usually intended. Here, too, Chagas proposes another type of displacement of bodies and objects in space, both within and beyond the African continent. These travellers' mixed names and ethnicities, as well as their fluid genders and sexualities, are reminiscent of Stuart Hall's important reminder that the question of identity and of its multiple “positionalities” can only be conceived as an endless, always unfinished conversation between being and becoming (Hall 1990; Akomfrah 2012, 2013).

3

Edson Chagas Jean P. Mbayo (2014) From the series Tpo Passe (2012–2014) Chromogenic process (C-Print); 100 cm × 80 cm

3

Edson Chagas Jean P. Mbayo (2014) From the series Tpo Passe (2012–2014) Chromogenic process (C-Print); 100 cm × 80 cm

Nevertheless, however ethicopolitical the migratory experience might ultimately become, and despite the very commoditization of the globalized art world itself, Chagas's work also continually reminds us that, as Homi Bhabha noted more than twenty years ago in words that continue to resonate powerfully today, one must not lose sight of the fact that “the globe shrinks for those who own it,” whereas “for the displaced or the dispossessed, the migrant or refugee, no distance is more awesome than the few feet across borders or frontiers” (1992: 88). This warning is also the driving force behind some of Kiluanji Kia Henda's works, such as the earlier project Self-Portrait as a White Man (2010), comprising The Great Italian Nude (Fig. 4) and The Merchant of Venice (Fig. 5), and the more recent The Island of Venus (2018). Prompted by the migratory crisis in the Mediterranean, in both installations the artist examines European racism and xenophobia historically, that is, as aftermaths of colonialism and slavery. Whereas such an ongoing crisis underlies the former project, it comes decisively to the fore in the latter, almost a decade later.

4

Kiluanji Kia Henda The Great Italian Nude (2010) From the series Self-Portrait as a White Man (2010) Digital print on matte paper mounted on aluminium; 110 cm × 170 cm

4

Kiluanji Kia Henda The Great Italian Nude (2010) From the series Self-Portrait as a White Man (2010) Digital print on matte paper mounted on aluminium; 110 cm × 170 cm

5

Kiluanji Kia Henda The Merchant of Venice (2010) From the series Self-Portrait as a White Man (2010) Digital print on matte paper mounted on aluminium; 170 cm × 110 cm

5

Kiluanji Kia Henda The Merchant of Venice (2010) From the series Self-Portrait as a White Man (2010) Digital print on matte paper mounted on aluminium; 170 cm × 110 cm

Self-Portrait as a White Man was conceived in the framework of a residency in Venice, during which Kia Henda investigated the fundamental role that enslaved Africans have historically played in the very construction of the city and its accumulation of wealth. Kia Henda also explores the discursive obliteration of this black presence by Europe's pervasive whitewashing of its colonial and enslaving history, despite the many traces left in artistic representation (such as the black Moors often sculpted as the carriers of all sorts of weights in European art). The historical omission, in turn, culminates in the very physical incarceration, deportation, and all kinds of deadly eradication inherent in securitized and criminalizing migratory policies, based on closing borders and access to citizenship and nationality to those coming from the African countries that Europe once colonized. The installation traces the historical ambivalence at the heart of Europe's concomitant fascination for and exploitation and erasure of African wealth and knowledge, while at the same time addressing the ways in which, as a consequence of the colonial encounter, the West has itself become an object of always alienating and frustrated desire for the majority of Africans. The work also critically addresses the unresolved tension between the disposable lives and deaths of the dispossessed African migrants who can hardly cross the Mediterranean by boat (see Mbembe 2003), and the luxurious lives of the rich African elites who fly to Venice in their private jets. This tension is encapsulated in the artist's own experience of taking an Angolan friend's jet ride from Lisbon back to Venice in order to continue his residency project in collaboration with poor Malian and Senegalese immigrants (Kia Henda 2018: 102).

Inspired by, while at the same time countering, Manet's white Olympia (where Laure's female blackness is kept in the background), The Great Italian Nude depicts a naked black male body posing regally on a couch with a sultan-like black Venetian mask on his face. Kia Henda's model is his Angolan friend Orlando Sérgio who, according to the artist, was the first black actor to perform, in Portugal, the role of Othello in Shakespeare's early seventeenth-century play Othello, The Moor of Venice (Kia Henda 2018: 102). In Kia Henda's majestic seaside Venetian setting, and somewhat similarly to Manet's gazing prostitute and observing maid, this masked figure remains ambiguous, recalling both the eminent African general who led Venetian armies and the so-called hour of rest accorded to enslaved Africans, who were most often depicted like the struggling black Moors that impressed the artist at the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, in Venice (Kia Henda 2018: 102).11 Drawing on Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, a late sixteenth-century play with a Venice-set plot revolving around trade, finance, power, otherness, debt payments in “pounds of flesh,” law, trickery, and justice (2006), Kia Henda's Merchant was performed for his camera by Sidi, a Senegalese musician who made a living selling fake branded handbags in front of the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, housed at the Palazzo Loredan. With the aim of countering degrading stereotypes of African immigration in Europe while paying homage to all those who built Venice's palazzi with pounds of their own flesh, the artist invited Sidi to enter for the first time the grandiose space of the Istituto and pose with his handbags in his colorful garments as the dignified due occupier of one of its pedestals. From the historical pounds of enslaved people's flesh to the contemporary pounds of immigrants' bodies, Kia Henda reminds us that it is Europe that is in debt. Inspired by the riddle of the three caskets of gold, silver, and lead and Shakespeare's famous line that “all that glisters is not gold” (Merchant of Venice 2.7.69), the work includes three chests, which the artist uses to elaborate on the displacement of the dispossessed in terms of desired future, nostalgic past, and broken present. From the dream of a better life condensed in European postcards in one chest, through the estrangement from home and loved ones evoked by family photos in another, one arrives at a third chest filled with broken mirrors, a metaphor for the disillusionment of the destitute African immigrant in Europe.

Almost a decade later, at a time when the ongoing migratory crisis in the Mediterranean reached new heights and was further dehumanized by mainstream media coverage, Kia Henda exhibited Island of Venus (2018) (Fig. 6) at Hangar, in Lisbon (Kia Henda & Leitão 2018). On Hangar's black floor, an abstract structure made of concrete construction blocks was punctuated by miniature replicas of classical statues, enveloped in colorful condoms atop concrete pedestals of sorts—islands in a sea of concrete, controlling towers, defensive fortresses, divisive walls, on top of which an illusion of white beauty and pleasure, history and culture, is preserved and marketed for the enticement of many and enjoyment of only a few. For, amidst the pleasure islands, black boxes signalled islands of death in the graveyard-sea of concrete, sunken precarious boats and drowned black bodies, powerfully reminiscent of the deadly oceanic passages of the enslaving past. The boxes also directed the viewer to the black rectangles marking—while interrupting—visual access to migrant lives and deaths on apparently quiet maritime photos that were hung serially on an adjacent wall. These black boxes and rectangles recalled Europe's blindness to its historical and contemporary responsibilities for such crises, as well as the growing indifference to the visual spectacle of a recurrent tragedy, while preventing the mediatized exploitation of African suffering. Such boxes were also the speakers through which one listened to Monami, a song by the Angolan traditional music band Ngola Ritmos, who became famous for their anticolonial lyrics written in Kimbundo in the 1950s and 1960s; resulting in the arrest of some of its members (Ole 1978; António 2010; Moorman 2008). Sung by Lourdes Van-Dúnem, Monami (My Child) is a mother's lament for the death of one of her children. Kia Henda thus connects the legacies of colonialism to the neocolonial and oligarchic realities of the postcolony (Mbembe 2001), with the cement blocks also evoking the informal constructions of Luanda's slums, the musseques, and the post-civil war construction of luxury skyscrapers, now halted due to the crisis. Countering Europe's siren song, Van-Dúnem's lament becomes that of a continent that has not fully accomplished its dream of liberation, losing its youth to an illusory mirage of European happiness, all too often turned into a nightmare.

6

Kiluanji Kia Henda The Island of Venus (2018) Installation view, A Ilha de Vénus, Hangar, Lisbon, 2018 © Kiluanji Kia Henda; courtesy of the artist and Hangar, Lisbon

6

Kiluanji Kia Henda The Island of Venus (2018) Installation view, A Ilha de Vénus, Hangar, Lisbon, 2018 © Kiluanji Kia Henda; courtesy of the artist and Hangar, Lisbon

Bringing the critique of fortress Europe closer to Portugal, a diasporic home for so many Angolans, I finish these reflections on the ethics, politics, and aesthetics of migration with Mónica de Miranda's Military Road (2009) (Fig. 7), a video work documenting a car journey across Lisbon. An urban archaeology of sorts, it traces the contemporary landscape of Lisbon's old military road, which was built as a defensive barrier against potential invaders from 1863 to 1902 and, connecting several forts, was established as the Lisbon Trench Camp in 1899. Militarily unused since World War II, it was formally deactivated in 1965, although some coastal forts remained active till 1999. Alongside the surviving forts, other more inconspicuous physical fragments of this construction surrounding Lisbon and separating its centers from the outskirts remain in place today and, ironically, seem to have acquired new defensive meanings. No longer protecting from military invasions, in Miranda's video this line becomes a symbol of the enduring socioeconomic and ethnic-racial divide—made almost as invisible by those in power as the remnants of the military road itself—that has defined Lisbon's segregated urban space, both before and after the Carnation Revolution. For decades, waves of destitute migrants—notably from the African countries formerly colonized by Portugal and from poorer areas of the country—turned the vacant spaces along this route into self-built illegal settlements. Since the early 1990s, these have been targeted by the government for demolition and social cleansing, followed by segregation and top-down policies of social rehousing (where there has been any), which have destroyed previously existing communities and created new alienating ghettos (in turn, criminalized by the police and the mainstream media) (see Vaz Borges 2014). The conversational road trip undertaken by the artist and her interlocutors (residents of some of the affected neighborhoods, whose houses have been demolished) charts these transformations in motion, over time, and across space, contextualizing them historically, socially, and personally and, thus, countering the invisibility of their ongoing impact.

7

Mónica de Miranda Military Road (2009) Video still

7

Mónica de Miranda Military Road (2009) Video still

A decade later, in the photography, video, and architectural installation South Circular (2019) (Fig. 8), Miranda expanded these reflections to include the urban transformations of this kind that occurred along the southern sections of the defensive line (southern from the Tagus River).12 Her video tells us of black southerners crossing a river towards a city, and a desert and a sea towards a Europe, which do not welcome them.13 Connecting the past and the present, it also hints at the often neglected histories of the African women who fought in the liberation wars (Paredes 2015), here evoking the struggling black heroines of postcolonial Lisbon. More recently, in Tales of Lisbon (2020), the artist has retrospectively documented and further extended, with photography, video, sound, and sculpture, her long-term engagement with Lisbon's marginalized peripheries since Military Road.14 Here, the 2009 video piece appears in a longer version and includes captions in Portuguese that, instead of the English translation of the car occupiers' conversation, provide broader historical information about the construction of this defensive line: the Napoleonic invasions of Spain and Portugal and the Peninsular War of 1807–1814, the escape of the Portuguese royal family to Brazil in 1807, and the alliance with the British, who consolidated their imperial hegemony after defeating the French in Waterloo in 1815; the liberal revolution that introduced constitutionalism in Portugal in 1820, Brazil's independence in 1822, and independence of Spanish colonies in Latin America; the civil war between constitutionalists and absolutists of 1828–1934, and the ensuing instability. In this version of the video, the simultaneity of captioned information and oral testimony reinforces the connection of past and present and collective and personal history that was already at work in the conversation in the shorter version. Then, installed next to the video, the photographic work Timeline (2020) depicts the architectural landscape of a one-kilometer walk along a section of the old road, in one long panoramic view comprising several sequential images (Balona de Oliveira 2018b). Its title immediately intersects spatial and temporal passages, regarding not only the photographed walk (in turn, inviting the viewer's dislocation across the gallery space), but also the filmed road trip, as well as the histories of the road and the country, and of Miranda's own work.

8

Mónica de Miranda South Circular (2019) Installation view, Prémio EDP Novos Artistas 2019, MAAT, Lisbon, 2019 © Mónica de Miranda; courtesy of the artist and MAAT, Lisbon

8

Mónica de Miranda South Circular (2019) Installation view, Prémio EDP Novos Artistas 2019, MAAT, Lisbon, 2019 © Mónica de Miranda; courtesy of the artist and MAAT, Lisbon

Given the extent of the urban change in these territories over the years, involving appropriation, resistance, and loss, her project spanning more than a decade of research (in collaboration with local associations, residents, family, and friends) has acquired an archival nature, both political and poetic. Above all, it calls attention to the fact that such ongoing transformations reveal a pattern of continuity: the enduring discrimination of African, Afrodiasporic, and other racialized communities (and in particular, their women), continuously envisaged as external and threatening to the nation. Indeed, behind the country's self-perception as welcoming, born from an amnesiac and nostalgic relationship to the colonial past, old fortresses keep lurking under new guises. The work of dismantling them must be similarly relentless.

Notes

1

Stating that artists cross these borders does not mean losing sight of how constructed they inescapably are.

2

I use the term Lusophone simply for practical reasons, as in all Lusophone African countries, Portuguese is only one among other spoken languages and, at times, not even the most spoken in daily life, despite its official status.

3

The civil war was waged by the three liberation movements—MPLA (Movimento Popular para a Libertação de Angola, led by Agostinho Neto), FNLA (Frente Nacional para a Libertação de Angola, led by Holden Roberto), and UNITA (União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola, led by Jonas Savimbi)—immediately upon independence in 1975, with the Soviet Union and Cuba supporting the MPLA, Zaire backing the FNLA (which progressively lost relevance during the war), and UNITA being supported by apartheid South Africa and the United States. While the civil war is commonly viewed as a Cold War proxy conflict—having continued throughout the 1990s until Jonas Savimbi's death in 2002—relevant scholarship importantly argues for more complex readings of the conflict beyond the Cold War power dynamics (see, for instance, Pearce 2017a, 2017b). Leading the MPLA between 1962 and 1979, Neto was independent Angola's first president. He was succeeded by José Eduardo dos Santos, who ruled between 1979 and 2017 and was, in turn, succeeded by João Lourenço in 2017. The party has been in power since independence.

4

I speak of a generation for practical reasons only, as the artists born after 1975 comprise a very heterogeneous group going well beyond the names mentioned in this essay.

5

Several black activist organizations have been fighting against the nationality legislation and the ways in which it contributes to the exclusion of the Portugal-born children of African migrants coming from the former Portuguese colonies. Many such migrants moved to Portugal before their countries' independence in 1973–1975, i.e., at a time when the Estado Novo regime's post-WW II legislation considered (only in theory) that all were Portuguese. The 1974–1975 revolutionary governments in Portugal never thoroughly resolved the nationality issue, and the postrevolutionary went as far as inscribing the ius sanguinis in the law, as it was no longer in the interest of the country that all remained Portuguese. More recently, some legislative changes have been introduced to ameliorate the situation, without fully resolving it.

6

The conception of a community of Lusophone nations, with Portugal striving to retain a kind of metropolitan role as a cultural and linguistic source, was made official with the creation of the CPLP (Comunidade de Países de Língua Portuguesa; Community of Portuguese Language Countries) in 1996, an organization inspired by the British Commonwealth (1926, 1931, 1949) and the French Francophonie (1970).

7

Although elaborated from the British context, Gilroy's (1992, 2004) ideas on postcolonial melancholia, race, racism, and multiculturalism could apply to Portugal and other European countries as well. On intersectional and decolonial feminism, see, for instance, hooks 2015; Davis 1983; Crenshaw 1989; Mama 1995; Vergès 2017, 2019. Racialized and segregated communities living mostly in Lisbon's peripheries are structurally denied access to high education and qualified jobs—notably in the arts—their situation contrasting with that of many of the Angolan artists addressed in this essay. Cultural and artistic sectors tend to be the reserve of the elites, whether in Europe or Africa, Portugal or Angola. So, despite their comparative invisibilization vis-à-vis their white peers in the Portuguese art scene, most of these artists are nonetheless privileged—which does not mean they do not have to face structural racism, sexism, and the economic precariousness of an artistic career.

8

On the notion of archival impulse, see Foster 2004; on archive fever, see Derrida 1996. Chagas has also lived many years in Lisbon, where he studied video and photography before moving to London in 2005 to pursue his studies at the London College of Communication, University of the Arts London.

9

Luanda, Encyclopedic City allowed this collection to be visited, as the Palazzo Cini is usually not open to the public.

10

Unlike Felix Gonzalez-Torres's 1990s minimalist stacked posters to be taken away by visitors, Found Not Taken is not always presented as a set of take-away posters, which means it does not depend conceptually on the take-away feature as Gonzalez-Torres's stacks do. This curatorial strategy arose from the restrictions found at the Palazzo Cini, occupied by Renaissance artworks that could not be moved.

11

These Moors were carved in black and white marble by the German artist Melchior Barthel for the Tomb of the Doge Giovanni Pesaro (1669).

12

South Circular includes another Military Road (2019), a wood wall piece with a laser-cut map of the military road signalled with location pins (Miranda & Silvério 2019: 67).

13

Miranda wrote the script for the South Circular video piece from various sources, namely Hélia Correia's novel Um Bailarino na Batalha (2018).

14

Miranda's Tales of Lisbon, curated by Sofia Castro and Bruno Leitão, was on view at Lisbon's Arquivo Municipal Fotográfico from February to May 2020, and a catalogue is forthcoming. I discuss only a part of this large project. On Miranda's earlier engagement with Lisbon's peripheries, see Miranda 2008; Miranda & Goodwin 2009.

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