Effects of wording | The Mozambique Archive Series
Stereo sound, video HD color, 29 min.
by Catarina Simão, Editor: Fernanda Gurgel, Lisbon, 2014
Effects of Wording documents the circumstances of origin and the daily life of an educational project called The Mozambique Institute. The story is based on the author’s composition of images recording an extensive collection of correspondence, newspaper cuttings, photos, textbooks, film shots, and other archive materials from a number of sources. The rhythmicisation of sound tracks and their repetition reinforces the emotive reading of the story.
A Super 8 film, shot in 1967 in Dar es Salaam, shows the rehearsal of a theatrical play: a white man is guiding a group of young black men. Slow temporality and tender relations can be felt between them, contrasting with the revelation of the acting scene: an inert body is forced into a rendition movement. There are palm trees in the landscape and a sign fixed to the ground showing the words “The Mozambique Institute.”
Archival images always hold the promise of retaining any historical truth, but this promise often comes coupled with a potential disloyalty, when a simple transposition of context, of wording, of time in space, might betray it all too easily. As a short visual essay, Effects of Wording feels free to exhaust the notion of the archive as a driving force and sign of “reading the world” by visually examining—on three different continents—the story of the Institute of Mozambique.
Catarina Simão is an artist and researcher who lives and works between Maputo and Lisbon. Her practice is built upon long-term research projects that entail collaborative partnerships and different forms of presentation to the public. Simão is known for her essay-like displays, using documentation, writing, video and drawing. She also engages in radio shows and public talks, participatory workshops, curating film screenings and publishing. With her recent projects, she casts her interest on inquiring common cultural and visual heritage of violence and emancipation. Her work has been presented at Serralves Museum, Porto; Manifesta 8 Biennial, Murcia; Africa.Cont, Lisbon; New Museum, New York; the Reina Sofía Museum, Madrid; Kyiv Biennial 2015 – School of Kyiev, Ukraine; EVA International 2016, Limerick, Ireland and also in Mozambique and Lebanon.
Published books connected to her researches: „Uhuru“ (2015) and „17 Introduction for the Mozambique Institute“ (2014).