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Re-Imagining The Beach In Maputo, A Photo Essay

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You may have stumbled upon the stereotype of Africans not being able to swim. That is, of course, a brisk generalization. Though almost unfortunately true.

Let us, for a moment, deconstruct the ‘beach’. Generally, one thinks of it as a center for recreation purposes. Tourists come with their exaggerated luggage and water gimmicks that leave us sceptical. They play with the waves, take a dive and resurface with glory and might from a well-spent day at the latest sea spot.

 The us/them binary is distinct .

While they play with the waves, we fish.

While they draw in the sand, we cook.

The way in which we position ourselves in this beach-like space is entirely different, and thus entirely emblematic to the dynamics of the Maputo-born citizen.

To understand what we do when we go to the beach, we must dedicate some time to reflect on its own purpose. The integration of the sea into the city, or, perhaps, of the city into the sea, speaks volumes into our constant run-ins with nature in the urban space.

Shall we, then, go to the beach?

There is no shame in our lassez-faire state of affairs. We wake early, and fall asleep in the same breath, between the zig-zag of work and the radiating puffs from the sun.

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