“Why should so small a country, and one so poor, interest the world?”
Chris Marker, Sans Soleil (Passages on Guinea-Bissau)
I have been following the memory of postcolonial thinker and revolutionary leader Amilcar Cabral. Cabral led a revolutionary movement that fought a fierce war and produced the first independence in Africa from Portuguese colonialism. The effects not only influenced many other liberation projects but is also said to have contributed to the end of years of fascist dictatorship in Portugal. Yet, today the country is considered a failed state, characterized by political volatility, poverty and corruption. I travelled to Cabral’s hometown in search of his traces, but soon found myself wandering among the debris of colonial legacies, freedom, greed, and murky realities. Wanting to avoid the glorification of the past, I started to think of how, within this harsh reality where freedom was coerced in many ways, dreams remain, suspended. Because, the question rhetorically asked by Chris Marker about Guinea-Bissau in his 1989 film Sans Soleil, “Why would so small a country, interest the world?” continues to challenge the one-sided writing of history.