Angola—The Hope of a People

reviewed by Katie FitzGerald [Mine Action Information Center]

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Text and Photographs by Vinicius Souza and Maria Eugênia Sá
Published by Casa Amarela Editoria–Brazil
Available through for US$30.00
Printed in Portuguese and English

Brazilian photographers Vinicius Souza and Maria Eugênia Sá provide a glimpse of hope through their camera lenses in Angola—The Hope of a People. After many years of tumultuous civil war, these 48 powerful black-and-white and color images capture both the "new face of Angola" and the hope of the people to create a new identity. In September and October 2002, Souza and Sá traveled to Angola in hopes of photographing the oppressed Angolan people in the streets of Luanda, the schools and hospitals of different suburbs, and in the refugee camps of Huambo. They encountered older people who were apprehensive of being photographed, fearing in whose hands the photograph would end up, and adolescents who would often and enthusiastically asked, "Hey, friends! Could you take a picture of us, please?"

Each photograph expresses the different facets of the Angolans' lives: from families walking for days to wait in line for food donations from the International Committee of the Red Cross to children bathing under bridge crossings despite the dangers of the ever-present landmines. The photographers' unorthodox style focuses on the eyes and facial expressions of the subjects, rather than where they are or what they are doing, and offers a glimpse of who these people are and what they have been through. Despite their hardships, the Angolans wear smiles of strength and courage, displaying the true face of Angola.

For more information on the project and the photographers, please visit the following Web site:


HeadshotKatie FitzGerald works as an Editorial Assistant for the Journal of Mine Action and is in her last year at James Madison University, where she is pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in print journalism.

Contact Information

Katie FitzGerald
Editorial Assistant
Journal of Mine Action
Mine Action Information Center