MADRINHAS DE GUERRA.
Thanks to the eyes of the photographer Amilton Neves, we are guided into a very personal and intimate journey. Set among ruined and old corrugated iron or wooden painted walls, passing through some small modest doors, we enter into dilapidated houses of several old Mozambican women. In this private space, we gain access into their life, to meet them, to acknowledge their past and to listen to an otherwise hidden episode of the history of Mozambique.
But who are exactly these women? How old are they? What are their names? What have they personally experienced?
Everything here seems so quiet, so still, so basic, so timeless. Are these women just silent or nostalgic or afraid or ashamed or angry or guilty? Or are they just shy or resigned or relieved? Do they want to laugh or to cry? What have they lost? Their past, their life, their reputation, their dignity, their lover? Will they accept to talk to us, to let out what they have been carrying and hiding deep inside themselves for so long? Will they agree to share their testimony before it’s too late, not to forget, but to remember?
Whatever all this, whatever they have done, whatever their harsh conditions of life! These old Mozambican women will always be beautiful, elegant and respectable, inspiring us compassion if as they were our mothers, our grandmothers, our aunts, that we want to take care of, to protect, to cherish, to embrace. Thanks its unique photographical documentary, Amilton Neves finally reveals us a subject that has stayed undercover and undocumented for too long.
These women are called “Madrinhas de Guerra” — “Godmothers of War."
Christine Cibert, art curator.