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Sónia Vaz Borges and Mónica de Miranda
Weaving stories while walking, 2024 Wood, soil, HD Video and Sound, 30'50''

 What happens when this archive is no longer within a closed space, but in a conversation, in a constant walk that crosses time, transits different geographies, spaces and architectures? 

 “Weaving stories while walking” a reading-performance film written and produced  Sónia Vaz Borges and Mónica de Miranda, interweaves multiple accounts from members of the resistance against the colonial powers in Cabo Verde, Guiné-Bissau, Angola, and Portugal. This  assemblage of individual memories  that throughout the reading became a collective, is read in several languages - Portuguese, Italian, English and Cabo-Verdean Creole. It looks at the centrality of individual and collective walking, movement, and affective experiences in understanding the liberation struggles and their legacy in the contemporary times. Weaving stories while walking intermingles timely narratives for the current social contexts.  

                                                     Sónia Vaz Borges and  Filipa César, Mangrove School, 2022, digital video, 35 min;


                                                                                                    About Mangrove School

We went again to Guinea Bissau this time to research the conditions of the students in the guerrilla schools in the mangroves. Instead, we soon became ourselves the learners and the first lesson was how to walk. If you walk straight, placing your heels on the ground first, you promptly slip and fall in the dams of the flooded mangrove rice field or you get stuck in the mangrove mud. You need to lower your body, flex your knees and stick your toes vertically into the mud, extend your arms forwards in a conscious and present movement. In the mangrove school the learning happens with the whole body.


Filipa César and Sónia Vaz Borges, Navigating the Pilot School, 2016, digital video, 12 min.; archival material


Often underestimated as such, the anti-colonial wars of liberation were also large scale educational endeavors.

Consider the educational strategies  pursued by agronomist Amílcar Cabral, the revolutionary thinker and politician, assassinated in 1973, who provided the decolonial struggles of the Portuguese - in Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé - with an impressive range of militant ideas pertaining to the organization of the intermediate resistance as well as to the formation of future citizens. In Guinea-Bissau, learning took place in the Liberated Zones themselves, in nomadic makeshift schools that were carried along through the forest by the guerrilla fighters.

However, not limited to this, Cabral and the PAIGC (African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde) also founded the system of the so-called Pilot School abroad. Children from Guinea-Bissau were thus taught at boarding schools such as the one in the neighboring schools such as the one in the neighboring Conakry, the Capital of the  Republic of Guinea, already independent since 1958.

Cabral envisioned  the Pilot School to form "the best students from our  schools in liberated areas, and [to be] integrated in our educational system for the liberated areas.



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