Women photographers in Angola and Mozambique (1909-1950): A history of an absence

«Women photographers in Angola and Mozambique (1909-1950): A history of an absence» is the new chapter of Inês Vieira Gomes (ICS-UL), in the book “Women and Photography in Africa. Creative Practices and Feminist Challenges”, edited by Darren Newbury, Lorena Rizzo e Kylie Thomas (Routledge, octobre 2020).

According to the editors: “The book offers new ways of thinking about the history of photography, exploring through case studies the complex and historically specific articulations of gender and photography on the continent [Africa], and attending to the challenge and potential of contemporary feminist and postcolonial engagements with the medium. The volume is organised in thematic sections that present the lives and work of historically significant yet overlooked women photographers, as well as the work of acclaimed contemporary African women photographers such as Héla Ammar, Fatoumata Diabaté, Lebohang Kganye and Zanele Muholi. The book offers critical reflections on the politics of gendered knowledge production and the production of racialised and gendered identities and alternative and subaltern subjectivities. Several chapters illuminate how contemporary African women photographers, collectors and curators are engaging with colonial photographic archives to contest stereotypical forms of representation and produce powerful counter-histories.” [abstract and index avalibale here]

Abstract of the book chapter by Inês Vieira Gomes: 
This chapter examines the uses of photography by women within the Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique during the colonial period, and will consider what part their images played in the production of a colonial imaginary. The aim of the chapter is to analyse the work of four women who travelled to Mozambique and Angola from 1909 to 1950, coincident with the consolidation of the Portuguese colonial empire. These women did not live in Angola and Mozambique but travelled to these territories for short periods of time and for different reasons: Hélène of Orléans (Mozambique, 1909); Dorothea Frances Bleek and Mary Pocock (Angola, 1925); and Helena Côrrea de Barros (Angola, 1950).

Hélène of Orléans; Dorothea Frances Bleek; Mary Pocock; Helena Côrrea de Barros; Portugal; Angola; Mozambique; colonialism; travel


New book’s frontpage

‘A Diana in Africa’, Harper’s Weekly, 12 March 1910 (detail)