Children of the Wind

Manuel Roberto

At the time of colonial war, they were called the soft Portuguese, now amongst the former combatants the expression children of the wind is preferred. But the children of Portuguese military with African women are not aware of this poetic name.

In Guinea-Bissau, they were dub­bed remains of tuga, in Angola, lef­to­vers of the white. They were not born yet or were still chil­dren when their parents left these ter­ri­to­ries. Today, they are in their 40s or 50s, but when they speak of the Por­tu­guese father whom they want to meet it is as if they become chil­dren again and they cry while say they feel like a half-person, incomplete.

These ima­ges were taken by pho­to­jour­na­list Manuel Roberto and are part of two new arti­cles published by the news­pa­per Público, writ­ten by the jour­na­list Cata­rina Gomes, with video ima­ges by Ricardo Rezende.

In 2013 the team tra­vel­led to Guinea-Bissau to find chil­dren who were left behind, a work that was dis­tin­guished with the Mul­ti­mé­dia Gazeta Award, by the Jour­na­lists’ Club. Fol­lowing this report the Asso­ci­a­tion Fil­lhos de Tuga (Chil­dren of the Tuga) was cre­a­ted and left a wre­ath to the unk­nown father in the ceme­tery of Bis­sau. This year the team retur­ned to Angola to find more chil­dren. These are ima­ges of some of these stories.

The exhi­bi­tion seeks to give visi­bi­lity to a taboo sub­ject in the Por­tu­guese soci­ety that has been sto­red in a drawer for over 40 years. Ex-combatants left chil­dren in Africa. They exist, they are many, and would like to meet their Por­tu­guese fathers.

A part of the his­tory of Por­tu­gal that has to be told.

Cata­rina Gomes