OCCUPATIONS

“Occupations documents and reclaims urban identity and space in the city of Maputo. In this portrait of Maputo, Branquinho layers post-civil war, colonial and institutionalized bureaucracies and realities with the vibrancy of professionals, new and self-made economies and the animation of the streets. In the tradition of street photography, Branquinho discovers his subjects on the city streets through wandering. Branquinho applies typology as a narrative framework to allow the idiosyncrasies of each of the portraits way to negotiate reference and relationship to each other. At once the narrative asserts synthesis of the architectural context and the inevitable presence of the individuals that occupy it. However it also alludes to the presence and relationship of a photographer that is in conversation with individuals. The photographer becomes one (and all) of multiple occupations: historian, anthropologist, journalist, sociologist, architect, art historian, fellow citizen. In this, what seems to be a mundane exchange, is a subtle confirmation of relationship, of citizenship that delivers and dignifies identity. This notion of photographing people and their places is core to Branquinho’s practice, like it is in the tradition in Mozambican (and South African) photography. Having grown up amongst photographers like Ricardo Rangel, Kok Nam and José Cabral, Branquinho’s lingered inspiration has now settled.”

John Fleetwood

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