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Viuva Branca, 2023

" In her first solo exhibition in Portugal, Sandim Mendes focuses on a story her grandfather used to tell her mother, and this was then passed on onto her, about the White Widows of Cape Verde.

A phenomenon that is a consequence of colonialism and the return of settlers to Portugal, leaving

the black women behind, widows with living husbands. The artist reflects on the importance of orality

in the construction of a country's identity, uprooting stories both from her family and of many

Cape Verdean women.
Transforming the negative and pejorative narrative built up about these women, Sandim Mendes pays homage to Viuva Branca, portrayed here as a fighter, a brave woman, as patient and persevering.

The men are portrayed as larger than life, on an exaggerated scale that contrasts with the small photograph of Genoveva. The near invisibility of the woman is juxtaposed with the overwhelming presence of the group of men. Their freedom, their carelessness, uncompromising gestures and actions consign women to those spaces of subalternity and of oblivion. However, it is there, in this place

of silence, that resistance takes place.
Sandim Mendes questions how we can change the deep-rooted narratives and maleficent prejudices

that come from a sexist society characterized by a very strong colonial heritage. The generational

and geographical distance allows the artist to transform these scourging stories into narratives

of empowerment. And to them we erect altars, to them we dedicate the exhibition."

- Filipa Oliveira, curator Casa da Cerca

Solo exhibition presented at Galeria Municpal de Arte, Almada Portugal.

Photography by: António Jorge

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