Imagine that it is a few days after payday in late colonial Luanda, 1972 for example. You don new duds custom ordered from your favourite tailor or seamstress – for men, low at the hip and wide at the ankle, and for women, a natty short-waisted jacket, big fabric buttons, an A-line skirt, and an African print head wrap to match. Outside the club you stand in line with others equally resplendent in new or newly pressed attire, undaunted by the dust of unpaved musseque streets. The air is tinged with the scent of grilling chicken and animated by the polite greetings of friends, cousins and acquaintances (handshakes for the gentlemen, kisses on the cheeks for the ladies). You can hear the band inside checking their instruments and in the background plays the great Franco song, “On Entre OK, On Sort KO” (translated ‘You enter OK and leave KO’). Meanwhile, you wait for the bouncer’s scrutiny to produce approval, registered only as he steps aside to let you in. As you pay the entrance fee with Portuguese tender and step across the lintel, you leave Portuguese rule behind.
On Thursday, February 24 the Angola Field Group invites you to step across the lintel, back to the late colonial period (roughly 1945–74) and hear a presentation about how Angolans in the musseques (shantytowns) used music to talk back to their colonial oppressors and what they, the urban poor, hoped to gain from independence. Our presenter, Dr. Marissa Moorman, is an assistant professor of African history at Indiana University, Bloomington USA and lived in Angola off and on from 1997 to 2002. She is presently in Angola researching the history of radio and the Cold War in Angola as part of a Fulbright Hays fellowship plus an American Council of Learned Societies fellowship. She is the author of the book Intonations published in 2008 and we will have a few copies for sale at the presentation. Find out more about the book at www.ohioswallow.com/book/Intonations. The book comes with a CD of music from the era.
Everybody is welcome to attend. The talk will be in English. In close cooperation with the Viking Club, this event is offered free of charge. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and snacks are sold at the bar, coupons must be purchased. The Viking Bar opens at 7:30 PM! You can download a map showing the location of the Viking Club on this website’s Join Us page. The Viking Club is on the main floor of the former Swedish Building at Rua Marien N”Guabi, No 118 in Maianga, across the street from the new Panela de Barra restaurant.