Africa is still the unknown continent. This is at least half true since it has been the source of artistic forms and cultural practices imbued with an inspired dynamic, alongside poverty, corruption and unnecessary outbreaks of violence and discrimination. This dynamic is capable of reflecting Africa’s post-colonial status, certain of its place and aware of its importance, both socially and politically, but also open to contamination and confrontation (which furthermore has been viewed with a mixture of amazement and fascination) as a result of the continent’s emancipation.
This is something that can be seen in the references to the icons of African independence and civil rights in the United States and also popular culture in West Africa, which both re-enact the aesthetics of agitation and propaganda, representations of statesmen, musicians, fads or electoral publicity, while assuming politically subversive identities and exploration of sexuality and gender. The tumultuous black and white photographs by Samuel Fosso (1962, Cameroon) - self-portraits in which he produces performative transformations of his own body - constitute a biographical reinvention and, in a more subjective manner, a deconstructionist exercise in African self-representation. This Africa lies at the heart of Samuel Fosso’s interview with Catarina Simão, an artist and researcher who lives between Lisbon and Mozambique and develops a kind of "rehearsal-installation" in which she reuses archive footage, design and advertising photography, and José Capela, architect, professor, set designer, founder and artistic director of the Mala Voadora theatre company.