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The Last Place of Cultural Dynamism in Luanda is No More

Marissa Moorman writes about the destruction of Elinga Theatre, the centre of cultural life in Luanda, Angola:

Since 1988, Elinga Theater, has anchored cultural life in the Angolan capital. On March 22, 2014 José Mena Abrantes, director of Elinga Theater, as well as poet, dramaturge, journalist, and communications consultant (read: sometimes speechwriter) for Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos, announced the impending destruction of Elinga’s historic space.

This comes after the theater group was told in January this year to vacate by the end of last month.

Come April 1, fear turned to action. Central Angola launched a campaign on Facebook to get bodies in front of Elinga and stall the destruction. A petition began circulating on April 2 (online and at Luanda schools), after Ângela Mingas, professor of Architecture at Lusíada University, suggested that 1,000 signatures delivered to the National Assembly on April 18, UNESCO’s international day for monuments and sites, would pack symbolic punch.

On 15 October, 2014, Global Voices Online wrote an article the theatre titled “Angola: Elinga Theatre, from Glory to Oblivion.”

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