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“Ês dez graozinho di terra Qui Deus espaiá na meio di mar El é di nos é ca tomado na guerra É Cabo Verde terra querida   Oi Cabo Verde terra estimada Terra di paz, terra di gozo Tudo quem djobêl pa se rêgos El ca ta ba, el crê ficá Ma s'el mandado el ta tchorá” “Such ten little pieces of land that God scattered across the sea belong to us, they were not stolen in wars This is Cape Verde, my beloved land   Oh Cape Verde, my beloved land Land of peace and joy Nobody you have embraced dares to go, and stay And those who have to leave will cry” This is Cesária Évora, in one of her beautiful Morna ballads. Morna is the national music from Cape Verde, a kind of blues characterised by a lento tempo and lyrics about love, longing, saudade, departure abroad and return. It is a warm and elegant music that evokes beauty and struggle, suffering and resilience and for that it is considered to be the greatest expression of Cape Verdean soul. Discovered and then colonised by the Portuguese from 1462 the virgin Islands of Cape Verde became a setting for the transatlantic slave trade and exile for political prisoners of Portugal. The land has been shaped by slavery, epidemics famine and mass migration. Since gaining its independence in 1975, Cape Verde has undergone political and cultural changes; mixed, in search of their origins, open to the world, Cape Verdean people are inventing and reinventing themselves even if the the colonial past is painfully close to the present. These pictures are a recording of what I saw and the people I met during my stay in Cape Verde. Warm, generous and hospitable people that conceal the gravity of the story behind, speaking of suffering, joy, resilience and pride.


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