This is the photoproject called “the ghost of praça de touros” by Bocarras Hunguana and Andrea Heister.

The stage is the ancient bullfighting arena in Maputo, Mozambique, which has been used during the times of Portuguese colonization as entertainment location for the higher Portuguese class. For about almost 500 years, Mozambique has been a Portuguese colony, it all started when Vasco da Gama discovered the South East African land and the Portuguese finally ended up occupying it. With them they brought their culture and traditions, one of them the adored and famous tradition of bull fighting. So they built a bull fighting arena – “praça de touros”.

The idea of this project is to raise awareness about this place that was once a great center of bullfighting and performing arts, the old bullring in Lourenço Marques (one of four existing throughout Africa). From this place emerged the first black bullfighter in the history of bullfighting. The bullfighter Mozambican Chibanga Ricardo, who was a phenomenon, who toured through the arenas around the world, cheered by Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali.

After the independence of Mozambique in 1975, this kind of entertainment didn’t make sense any more. The Portuguese left Mozambique and the arena, this huge architectural complex, fell into the hands of the aboriginal government that didn’t have an immediate official use for it. The building as such is today abandoned and deprived of any entertainment function. But: it is not empty. The people reappropriated the empty space. Food shops, car repair stations, trading, barber shops, etc. emerged. People make their own businesses. The inner space of the arence though remains empty and vaste. The old architecture is going into ruins, life slowy tares it dow.

Enough of words. Let the photos speak for themselves.

© bocarras & andrea heister