“A libertação da mulher e uma necessidade da revolução” – On the Visuality of Militant Femininity in the Context of the Independences of Angola and Mozambique

In this paper I explore the relationship between aesthetics and politics in the context of independence as a revolutionary moment. Visual culture has been important to anticipate, fuel and manifest the independence on vari-ous levels. From photographic and filmic documentation of the independ-ence struggle to the framing of the political moments of the actual inde-pendence to the role of post-revolutionary propaganda and art, the historic moment has been the frame for the development of a certain visuality. In particular, it is interesting to look at the transnational migration of images as well as their transformation into political icons.
In my paper I focus on the visualisation of political heroes, in particular the female heroines Deolinda Rodrigues (Angola) and Josina Machel (Mozam-bique). Both have been constructed also visually as national icons of the revolution and independence. Following Mirzoeffs concept of ‘visuality’ as the offical mode of an image culture and the related possibility of a counter-visuality, this paper assesses a number of images of the two women from the different periods before, during and after revolution to give further insight on the connectedness of politics and the visual in the African independences focusing on the heroisation of militant women and the female space in the revolution.

Nadine Siegert, University of Bayreuth

Dr. Nadine Siegert is Deputy Director at Iwalewahaus, University of Bayreuth and Project Leader of the sub project “Revolution 3.0. Icono-graphies of social utopia in Africa and its diaspora” at the Bayreuth Acad-emy of Advanced African Studies. Her PhD project in Art Studies was titled  „(Re)Mapping Luanda – Utopia and Nostalgia in aesthetic practise“. At the University of Bayreuth she worked in the research projects „Art-worlds in Interaction“ and „Media Art and the dynamics of contemporary art-worlds in Johannesburg and Luanda“.