Angolan-Portuguese artist Mónica de Miranda's research-led practice is grounded in postcolonial politics in relation to Africa and its diaspora. Her most recent project The Island contemplates the complex experiences of Afrodiasporic lives and Europe’s colonial past. Fusing fact and fiction, The Island explores a long trajectory of black presences in Portugal by bringing together intertwined narratives – drawing on African liberation movements, migratory experiences, and identity formations through a black feminist lens.
Using film and photography, de Miranda deploys the metaphor of the island as a utopian place of isolation, refuge, and escape: a space for collective imaginings that speak to new and old freedoms. Anchored in cultural affinities and ecofeminism, the artist considers soil as an organic repository of time and memory, where ancestral and ecological trauma linked to colonial excavations continue to unfold.
The Island urges us to develop a more conscious relationship between our bodies, the past and the lands we inhabit – and all that they hold – towards regenerative possible futures.
The exhibition features two new Autograph artist commissions seen for the first time: a 37-minute film work The Island, and an associated series of photographs part of Autograph’s project Amplify – Stranger in the Village: Afro European Matters, supported by the Art Fund.
Curated by Renée Mussai and Mark Sealy.