A War Kept: exhibition

A War Kept: photography of Portuguese soldiers in Angola, Guinea Bissau and Mozambique (1961-74)

13 January – 20 March 2022 NEW DATE: until 3 April

Museu do Aljube Resistência e Liberdade, Lisbon

tuesday-sunday 10am-6pm

A War Kept explores personal collections of men who were once soldiers. The majority were collected through interviews conducted as part of ongoing ethnographic research being undertaken at the ICS-ULisboa. The rest were published on various websites and online archives. Coming from all over Portugal, they portray a distant place and time, and reveal a war as it was experienced but also imagined. Both banal and extraordinary, they reveal the many worlds of a long and anachronistic war that a dictatorship sent them to fight. We hope they will encourage and inspire a broader debate. 

Maria José Lobo Antunes e Inês Ponte


A War Kept includes the possibility of listening to some of the stories behind soldiers’ photographs, using QR codes. Due to the covid pandemic, we suggest you bring your smartphone and headset along, so that you can safely enjoy these contents.

The exhibition A War Kept features parallel events that will run for two months: an abridged version of a theatre show, two cinema sessions that are part of a wider cinema cycle promoted by Museu do Aljube, talks and tours, all subject to the covid-19 safety rules.

email: aguerraguardada@gmail.com


Curators: Maria José Lobo Antunes and Inês Ponte

Collections and Participants: Arquivo Aveiro e Cultura, Albano Costa Pereira, Antonino Pereira, António Barros, António Fernando Gonçalves, António Vilela, António Silvestre, Ângelo Teixeira, Boaventura Martins, Carlos Mendes, Casimiro Silva, Francisco Gomes, Fernando Penim Redondo, Fernando Silvestre, Fotosíntese/Buala, Gabriel Marques, Horácio Marcelino, João Freitas, João Gameiro, João Sousa, Joaquim Augusto Carvalho, Joaquim Cunha, Joaquim Silva, Joaquim Tomaz Soares, José Nunes Afonso, José Alves, José Cunha, José Freire, José Fernando Sousa, José Lopes, José Lourenço, José Pinto, José Rodrigues de Almeida, Luciano Leal, Luis Correa de Sá, Luis Mata, Manuel Carvalho, Manuel Rosa, Mário Martins, Mário Silva, Virgilio Santos

Invited Artists: Daniel Barroca, Patricia Barbosa, Rita Neves, Maria Gonzaga

Photographic Cameras: Fernando Penim Redondo

Exhibition Display  and Design: Ophelia Estúdio

Audio: Ana Coelho, Filipe Fernandes, Luis Ferraz, Miguel Ramos, Rosário Melo (Confederação), AP Silvestre, Inês Ponte 

Video:  Inês Ponte 

Translation: Lynn and Matthew Salt

Project Management: Eugénia Rodrigues, Pellegrino Cammino, Telma Vinhas

Exhibition developed through the postdoctoral project undertaken at ICS-ULisboa, “Image, War and Memory: colonial war photography in private collections and in institutional archives” (SFRH/BPD/116134/2016), with the support of 2020.01762.CEECIND.


webpage dedicated to the exhibition The War Kept at the Museu do Aljube’s website



Programme associated with the exhibition A War Kept

Free admission

Activities subject to room capacity and to the safety rules issued by the Directorate-General of Health (DGS).

Reservations inscricoes@museudoaljube.pt

(a) fragments of the theatre play Corpo Suspenso, Rita Neves

saturday 19 February, 4 pm

40 min, followed by talk with Rita Neves, Patricia Couveiro and Joaquim Paulo Nogueira (critic, playwright and theatre director)

If bodies carry memories, what has remained in the body of a daughter whose father was drafted to the Portuguese colonial war? Corpo Suspenso is a theatre show that explores an archive of memories on stage, using the daughter’s body to disclose her father’s memories, as well as the memories of a country. Created by Rita Neves and Patrícia Couveiro in 2021, the play has been presented in several locations. The exhibition A War Kept evokes the original show, presenting an abridged version which will be followed by conversation with invited guests and the public. 

Fragments of @espectaculocorposuspenso

Credits [short version]: Concept and direction // Rita Neves ⁠** Creation, text and acting // Patrícia Couveiro, Rita Neves⁠ ** Dramaturg // Rui Pires ⁠** Movement// Sofia Neuparth ⁠⁠** Costumes // Luís Godinho⁠ ⁠** Plastic Design and rehearsal support // Tiago Vieira ⁠

Corpo Suspenso received support from Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Fundação GDA and⁠ República Portuguesa – Cultura/Direcção Geral das Artes⁠

teaser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bp1M7HJ7DkQ

Film Programme: 2 sessions

A short panorama on the multiplicity of cinematographic perspectives about the Portuguese colonial wars. A recent Angolan documentary unlocks memories of those who fought for the liberation of Angola. Two Portuguese productions are featured in the second session: a television documentary about the circulation of messages to and from soldiers deployed in the three theatres of operations in Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique, and a short fiction about the social impact of war through the lens of popular culture.

✓  28 january, 15h30 

Independência (105’), Fradique, 2015

After more than 40 years, this documentary finds and reveals the past in maps, photographs, documents, newspapers and, above all, in living memories. The film is made from the point of view of the generation that participated in the liberation struggle and who share their memories with us. With the feet firmly in the present, this Angolan production looks back and reflects “where we are and who we are, as a country, 40 years after our Independence?”.  

+ info: https://geracao-80.com/independencia

trailer: https://vimeo.com/independenciafilme/trailer

✓ 25 February, 4pm (total session 67’)

Deus Não Quis (15’), António Ferreira, 2007 + Natal 71 (52’), Margarida Cardoso, 2000

Deus Não Quis is based on the the popular song Laurindinha. It tells the story of Ramiro, a young man, who leaves to war; of his return and his alienation from the love of his life, Laurinda. This short fiction departs from a Portuguese popular culture song to reflect on the social impacts of a long lasting and geographically distant war.

+ info: https://pngpictures.com/png/site/web/pt/filmes/curtas/deusnaoquis

trailer: https://vimeo.com/personanongrata/dnqtrailer

Natal 71 is the name of a record given to the soldiers deployed in the Portuguese colonies overseas for Christmas 1971. Niassa’s Songbook is the title of an audiotape illegally recorded by soldiers during the war years, in Mozambique. They are memories from a country which was shut from the rest of the world, poor and ignorant, laid to sleep by a stale and primitive propaganda which tried to hide all the conflicts and keep the people from thinking and recognising the repressive nature of the regime they were living in. The documentary departs from the director’s family memories, and reflects on the country in which she grew up at.

+ info: http://www.cinept.ubi.pt/pt/filme/2074/Natal+71

excerto: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ni5YDhqqqlk

Sessions dedicated to the Portuguese colonial war in the cinema cycle about Portuguese colonialism, in articulation with Museu do Aljube Liberdade e Resistência and the exhibition Ato (Des)Colonial.

(c) Tours and talks to the exhibition A War Kept 

9 February, 4 pm, with Maria José Lobo Antunes e Inês Ponte, curators, ICS-ULisboa

20 February 11 am, with Miguel Cardina CES-Coimbra and Ana Vidigal, artist: Arte, história e memória da guerra: a talk around pieces on display

4 march, 4 pm, with Rui Lopes, IHC-Nova and Mariana Carneiro, journalist at esquerda.net: Chronologies of War: a talk around a piece on display

16 March, 4 pm, with Aniceto Afonso, military historian, IHC-NOVA

4th Floor, Museu do Aljube

Images of the Exhibition Room at Museu do Aljube



Artigo de Cláudia Sobral, Semanário Novo .

2022-01-19, online; 01-16: Revista

 Artigo de Marta Martins Silva, Correio da Manhã.


Reportagem por Fernando Penim Redondo.


Artigo de Luis M. Faria, Expresso online.