This year Mozambique celebrates its 40th year of independence. On the eve of independence Frits Eisenloeffel (1944-2001), a journalist for including the leftist weeklymagazine de Groene Amsterdammer, worked in Mozambique. In two trips, made in 1974 and 1975, he wrote about the final moments of the revolutionary struggle byFrelimo (Frente de Libertação de Moçambique) and imminent birth of a nation.
Expectations about the new era were high, but the dream turned out to be short-lived. In Rhodesia and later South Africa a counter movement Renamo (ResistênciaMoçambicana Nacional) was founded, ultimately resulting in years of civil war. Under the leadership of its first president Samora Machel Frelimo had recourse toMarxism-Leninism and continued the revolution taking a hard line. Only in 1992 a peace agreement was signed, although the tensions never completely dissappeared.
Contrary to the expectations Mozambique experienced a huge economic growth. After the Peace talks, Frelimo rejected Marxism-Leninism, embraced capitalism andMozambique adopted the democratic system. The new situation attracted workers from the region, but large foreign capital as well. The enormous influence of Chinese capital and workforce is visibly present and due to the improved road network, the growing urbanization and migration from other countries is apparent.
Looking for M. deals with the developments that the country went through the last forty years. By juxtaposing my own work to the texts and pictures of FritsEisenloeffel a rich picture of this nation comes into being. Although capitalism reigns supreme, the revolutionary ideology is still visually present in the streetscape through murals, statues and streetnames. Looking for M. deals with the tangible memories of the revolution, but also shows how this history seemingly effortlesslymerges with the present situation of this nation through the minds of two journalists, revolutionaries, immigrants and the Mozambique’s citizens.