Ana Bénard da Costa, O Preço da Sombra. Sobrevivência e reprodução social entre famílias de Maputo
Remembering that time, my father told me that after just a few days here Uncle Baltazar had thought about quitting the Company and going back home. Uncle Baltazar. A name, a reputation, dozens of photographs — that was how I knew him. It seems he found it absolutely necessary to have someone take his portrait every month, maybe even every week.
He would often send Mum photographs of himself, taken either in a studio by a portrait photographer or out in the open by a friend. That photograph, with the inscription to Mum on it, was a great hit among our friends, many of whom as well as looking at it themselves wanted to show it to other people.
Diligent but vain too, Mum did lend it out; but if someone was late to return it, it would be my job to go and get it back, for a document of such importance could not spend too much time in profane hands. At first I thought it was someone else, a friend or perhaps an employee of his. But what disappointed me most, frightened me even, was the missing arm. Where was the left arm that had been resting on the car door in that famous photograph? But no one worried much about my absence. I only heard Mum calling me once, and I became more and more curious to know why they were so oblivious as to my whereabouts.
If no one cared about the fact that I was missing, then something very important must have been going on up there while I hid in the dark making bats out of scraps of paper. I made up my mind to go up before it became too difficult. First I went to the kitchen to eat something, and considered how I was going to make my entrance into the living room. I was rummaging around the cooking pots when Mum came in to get more coffee, taking me by surprise.
Could the rabble out on the streets really not have waited? I already knew it had been foolish to run away from Uncle Baltazar just because he was missing an arm. And what about that lame detective I saw in that film, beating up a whole bunch of consummate criminals? Mum was looking at me, and I could tell she knew the truth.
À sombra d'uma azinheira
I noticed, in part, because several colonial era surveys in Bairro and Posto de Munhuana also revealed between a third and a half in those categories. In those cases part of the problem was researchers conducting surveys in Portuguese with minimal knowledge of local languages. The researchers actually attributed the poor survey participation by African women to their minimal knowledge of Portuguese. The second caveat is that publishing the footnotes in 10 font or smaller made it very difficult for me to read without a magnifying glass and very good light.
Africa is a very young continent, so perhaps this will not be a major marketing problem outside the aging professoriate. Les chroniques. November FilmMedia Screening. Share this event. FilmMedia Seminar.
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