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O País / Zeca Craveirinha (L) and Mutxine Malangatana (R) during the debate
The descendants of José Craveirinha and Malangatana say their works are being published without respect for copyright.
It all began with a song that astounded its audience, the guitar providing a relaxed backing for a dialogue about the works of José Craveirinha and Malangatana.
Craveirinha wrote lyrical, incisive poetry in the colonial era. He sought inspiration in the dawn, and considered the silence of the day the moment to put his verses on paper. Malangatana tried to write poems, but preferred to represent the exaltation of Craveirinha’s poetry with the brush.
The event was held at the Mozambican-German Cultural Centre in Maputo City and attended by artists such as Lucrécia Paco, who recited some verses from the book, “As Negras das Lagoas” (“The Black Women of the Lagoons”) by Malangatana. “As negras das lagoas / Fazem exposição / De quadros nús e tristes / Com os próprios corpos as artistas / Pintam no fundo da parede de caniço (…)” [“The black women of the lagoons / Make an exhibit / Of naked, and sad pictures/ With their own bodies / They paint the back of the reed wall (…) “].
The debate heard a cry of help from one of Craveirinha’s heirs in relation to his father’s works. According to Zeca Craveirinha, several of his father’s writings have been published without respecting copyright.
Zeca said he was trying to recover the material produced by his father, but without success. “There are people who do not want to return my father’s estate … I will not name names,” Zeca said sadly.
Mutxine Malangatana, with a smiling but worried look, said his father’s works in private and public collections were being exhibited in Portugal and Mozambique. “I have been waiting for more than a year for an answer on the whereabouts of Malangatana’s works, which have been identified and known to be in the possession of authorities in Lisbon, and which were exhibited without the knowledge of the family,” he said.
Mutxine said it is difficult to track the estate of works across borders because, even after investigation has identified the people who have the canvases, it is difficult to recover them. He added that there are letters written by his father during his three-and-a-half months of solitary confinement in Mozambique in 1969.
“There are, in Mozambique and Portugal, photographs and poems sent at the time of my father’s arrest which were never delivered,” he revealed.
Heirs … but limited
Malangatana and José Craveirinha achieved immortality and their works continue to be appreciated today. Their heirs share the same problems recovering and preserving their parents’ work.
Malangatana produced several canvases which are still unknown to the public.
“I am having serious difficulties conserving works produced by Malangatana and the last time I did the inventory, in 2007, some were at risk,” explains Mutxine. He further says that even though he had the partnership of the Mário Soares Foundation, to this day he does not know the total inventory of the works.
Source: O País
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