My Favorite Photographs N°16: Rui Sérgio Afonso

Born in Huambo but raised in Luanda, Rui Sérgio Afonso is one of my favorite Angolan photographers. The man is prolific on Instagram. After working for Angola’s biggest communications and marketing group, Grupo Executive de Angola (Executive Center), Sérgio is now a freelance photographer. He’s done extensive work with Angolan arts collective Geração 80. Here are his “5 favorite photographs,” in his own words:

Saying that these are my five favorite photographs would be an injustice to all the others I have taken. Perhaps these five all have different reasons to be included here, like the one above with the children and their improvised sailboats that remind me of the imports that my country is subject to, and that I call “import-export Lebanon China,” the two groups of foreigners that are most common in Angola. The former with their warehouses that supply us with our basic needs such as beans and fuba (ground manioc), and the latter, the new foreigners, that I believe are here to stay, our new colonizers from the Far East.

From the echo the stone makes as it strikes the mabanga (type of shellfish) that sustains the fishermen of this metropolis that grows right in front of your eyes…

…to the relative calm of the fisherman’s boat ready for another day at sea.

From the remnants of humanitarian aid that we are subject to every year, so apparent on the improvised boats of Tômbua village in Namibe…

…to the joy of our children as the rains arrive.

They’re all moments that carry me to my childhood where everything was more fun, more honest, realer — that time where they taught us that socialism was the path to follow for the good of our people, the people that I love so much.

Further Reading

A ditch to climb

In South Africa, the political class uses foreign nationals as scapegoats to obfuscate their role in reproducing inequality. However, immigrants are and always have been part of the excluded.