The Sound of Masks

Dokus
Independent
| 71
Portuguese
| English

Atanásio Nyusi, a compelling storyteller and legendary Mapiko dancer, takes us on a surreal journey interweaving the politics of Mozambique’s colonial past and its present. Mapiko is a traditional dance only performed by men, wearing special wooden masks. Using music, dance and the body as archive, we experience the ugliness of war through the beauty of dance and poetry. During Portuguese rule Mapiko was often used as social commentary to challenge colonization. Nowadays, it celebrates freedom, cultural identity and collective memory. “Gouveia spoke to Variety about the Mapiko dance as an act of political defiance, uncoupling African art from the Western gaze, and the struggle to preserve culture from one generation to the next.” (Variety)