“The ‘Roque Santeiro’ market represents a Stock Exchange of a kind. It used to manage so many millions a day that everything was decided there, including the exchange rate USD-Kwanza.
Three or four years from now I would like to do two things: first, a magazine for Angolan women, because in Angola the big problem at present is that there’s only women; the men died in the war and now there’s on average 10 women for each man. I believe that Angola will be a country governed by women, they are very present in the family and domestic life and all that would be material for a female publication. Then I would also like to take an acting course, because I was told by a producer friend of mine that I could be a good actress. I don’t know if he was joking or not, but what is certain is that I started to think seriously about it.”
Also featured, an account of the celebrations in Luanda of 45 years of Bonga’s artistic life. One of the country’s major musical references – as a singer, composer, instrumentalist and performer – Bonga distinguishes himself by his closeness to his Angolan cultural roots, in spite of having lived permanently outside the country for the last around forty years:
“Two galas and a show for the youth were more than enough to confirm (if that was still needed) the power of Bonga’s music and the arguments that make him one of the most ‘internationalised’ Angolan musicians. The events were part of the artist’s 45-year musical career, which also included the release of a new record, ‘Bairro’. In the three events, Barceló de Carvalho, or simply Bonga, confirmed that all authentic product must be well consumed. Known as one of the great defenders of Africanity and, in particular, of the musical genre Semba, the musician interacted with the audience through a variety of sounds and conversations. Many attended: just in one of the shows, at ‘Estádio dos Coqueiros’, there were almost 15 thousand fans.”
News as well of a project led by researchers from the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Coimbra, Portugal, supported by the economic group ESCOM and coordinated by the Portuguese Ministry of Culture, aimed at the study of unpublished documentation about Angola and the Lunda-Cokwe cultural area in particular:
The project is part of the program of reopening of the Anthropological Museum of Dundo – an important Central Africa research centre in the areas of entomology, archaeology and ethnography, which is internationally known for its collection of
Cokwe art. It is geared toward the investigation, digitalization and conservation of historical documents related to Angola covering about half a century of colonial occupation of the area, namely those of the Cultural Services of the former Company of Diamonds of Angola, Diamang – the initiator of diamonds’ exploration in the country in 1917 and once considered ‘a state within a state’, whose documental estate was acquired by the Museum in 1986 – and of Marie Louise Bastin, a specialist in
Finally, echoes of the recent passing of Nobel Prize of Literature Alexander Soljenitsyne – “An anti-soviet who died Russian at 89”:
In a telegram of condolences addressed to the family, President Dmitri Medvedev referred to Soljenitsyne as ‘one of the 20th century most important thinkers, writers and humanists.’ Mikhail Gorbatchev, the father of Perestroika who provoked a political turn in the East and the fall of the Berlin Wall, had already referred to him as ‘a man with a unique destiny who was one of the first to soundly denounce the inhumane character of the Stalinist regime, having faced difficult probes together with millions of his country citizens who experienced the communist concentration camps.’
Having chosen the autobiographical novel as his main vehicle of expression, he wrote ‘The Gulag Archipelago’ and ‘A Day in the Life of Ivan Denissovitch’, based on daily life reports of prisoners, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize of Literature in 1970. However, he preferred not to go to Stockholm to receive it for fear of not being allowed to travel back to Russia.
But not everything was worthy of a positive evaluation in Soljenitsyne’s life. His support of fascist dictatorships, such as Pinochet’s and Franco’s, cost him tough criticism. Also controversial were his words of approval of the second Tchetchenia war and his calls for the death penalty for the independents in the region.