Monica de Miranda (Angola/ Portugal)

Musée National du Mali

Once Upon A Time (2014), Falling (2014)

Monica De Miranda creates a tension of nearness and distance, immediacy and remoteness. Her two-year research project Once Upon A Time was conceived as a historical investigation into the meaning and experiences of diaspora. The project consists of multiple components―a video, an installation, a website, and a photographic series―through which the artist examines the intermingling of transnational and transcultural identity. The work is a poetic and autobiographical meditation on how, as De Miranda observes, “time and place become intertwined without borders in different places and time zones.”

The three-channel video was filmed in the post- colonial context of lusophone Africa, Lisbon, London, and Rio de Janeiro. The work reveals multiple worlds separated by turbulent seas. De Miranda’s narration echoes centuries of black migration and of absence in both Africa and within the broader diasporic world.

The project features the artist’s own life, locating her partners and children inside vast landscapes such as forests, bodies of water, and cities. In a non-linear story that oscillates between fiction and documentary, the artist relays the experience of diaspora by weaving together these separate moments.

In both the video as well as the photographic trip- tych Falling, De Miranda’s characters gaze into a distance, thus transcending the physical limitations of space. This specific way of looking and searching characterizes, for the artist, the diasporic collective memory. As a result, the artist draws our attention to diasporic imaginings un- bound by the confines of the nation-state and the ancestral land.

Born in 1976 in Amarante, Portugal –
Lives in London

Institut Français
Ministère de la Culture de l’Artisanat et du Tourisme du Mali