“Not Propaganda” is part of a curatorial research project on the aesthetic-political continuities between the struggle for independence in Mozambique, Guinea Bissau and Angola against the Portuguese colonial occupation (1961–1974) and the Portuguese revolution (1974). More than historicising the events, this work draws on critical translation theory and moving image to delve into the crisis of the colonial memory regimes in Portugal and the underrepresented contribution of the African liberation movements to the revolution, despite it having been key. Moreover, it proposes a continuity between the African revolutionary movements and the revolution outside of the colonial difference of ontological binaries. It does this by conceptualising translation beyond the ontological binary and equivalence of linguistic translation; instead, in this work, translation is enacted as a site of semiotic struggle and opacity.
In “Not Propaganda”, the curatorial staging juxtaposes text, images and sound from the work of film-maker Sarah Maldoror, film-maker Flora Gomes, artist Filipa Cesar, revolutionary leader Amilcar Cabral, decolonial theorist Rolando Vazquez and curator Irit Rogoff, among others. The video is a curatorial staging of the investigative process, as a making-public of the constellation of ideas and materials advancing the research. The investigative process is seen as having curatorial qualities and producing new knowledge through new juxtapositions. The video enables the relationships between seemingly unrelated materials being put to work as curatorial propositions in their making-public.
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