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 jungle 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."


Filipa César and Sónia Vaz Borges make available their research on this militant education system through various documentary materials and a film navigating the Pilot School in Conakry.