“1919”, 2019

(Príncipe island, São Tomé and Príncipe)

A geodesic mission to São Tomé took place between 1915 and 1918, headed by the Portuguese Gago Coutinho. Marks were placed as a basis for a geodetic network in the archipelago.
A map was published in 1919, together with the Report of the Geodetic Mission on São Tomé Island.
1919 was also the year where, at Príncipe island, was proved the theory of special relativity that explains how space and time are linked for objects that are moving at a consistent speed in a straight line. 
The equation — E = mc2 — means "energy equals mass times the speed of light squared." It shows that energy (E) and mass (m) are interchangeable; they are different forms of the same thing. 
An object in motion experiences time dilation, meaning that time moves more slowly when one is moving, than when one is standing still.
The social and cultural conjuncture of the island at that time was punctuated by an immersion of a new kind of enslaved migration trade coming mostly from Cabo Verde. The “contratados” would come to work on the Cacau production farms, run by the decadent Portuguese colonial government. 
Taking the public space as a space of reflection and intervention, 1919 is a performance made hundred years after the inauguration of the geodesic mark. 
A collaboration and dialogue with the traditional women group Kotxi Midju form Porto Real, representing the second generation of cape-verdian migrants, that together empower the Sao Tomesen women role in the society. The song in crioulo is about the Organisation de l'unité africaine (OUA)) established on 25 May 1963, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with 32 signatory governments with the main aim of bringing the African nations together and resolve the issues within the continent inspiring and speeding up the freedom and total independence of the African continent, eradicating imperialism and colonialism from the continent.

 © RitaGT

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