Author Lara Pawson on Angola’s Forgotten Massacre

Lara Pawson disusses her new book, In the Name of the Peope: Angola’s Forgotten Massacre, with  Delinda J. Collier (Art History, School of the Art Institute of Chicago).

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706x410q70poplak-review-Angola-subbedmAbout the book: This is the story of investigative journalist Lara Pawson’s determined search to uncover a horrific massacre in Angola on 27th May 1977. On her journey to unearth the truth about the masscre of 27th May, Lara Pawson speaks to eyewitnesses, victims and perpetrators of the violent and confusing events of that day and the following weeks and months. She travels to Lisbon to hear a woman break three decades of silence about the disappearance of her husband; challenges British journalists whose belief in the People’s government clouds their recognition of the brutal killings; and goes to Luanda, the capital of Angola, to speak with soldiers who took part in the uprising and to hear a Cuban doctor admit to covering up a mass murder linked to the 27th May demonstration. What emerges is a picture of a violent government, divided and racially tense, propagandist and strengthened by Communist support from Cuba, which enforced its power to chilling result in 1977, the repercussions of which are still felt today. As arresting as a conspiracy thriller, the narrative follows Lara as she hears original testimony and does her own research to get to the heart of this secret massacre, and better understand Angola’s complex and political history.

“With unflagging intelligence, fearlessness, and compassion, Pawson unfolds the human and political dimensions of this forgotten atrocity.” –Teju Cole

About the author: Lara Pawson worked for the BBC World Service from 1998 to 2007, reporting from Mali, Ivory Coast and São Tomé and Príncipe. From 1998 to 2000, she was the BBC correspondent in Angola, covering the civil war, and has returned to the country several times since. She currently works as a freelance journalist, often writing for the Guardian, and lives in London. This is her first book.

About the interlocutor: Delinda Collier is an associate professor of art history at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She writes and teaches about art in Southern Africa. Her book, Repainting the Walls of Lunda: Information Colonialism and Angolan Art is forthcoming next spring from the University of Minnesota Press.

Co-sponsored by the Seminary Coop Bookstore, Committee on African Studies and the Center for International Studies at the University of Chicago.

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