Working at the intersection of art, de-colonial thought and ecology, and actively embracing local forms of knowledge, the exhibition foregrounds Zita’s ideas and methodologies and seeks to retain rather than erase or obscure the house’s unique history, transcribed on its walls and into its foundations via erosion and graffiti. It includes a sample of his notebooks, with transcriptions and a selection of related photographs.

Recreating a lost archive

Since 2006, Gama has been recreating Zita’s lost archive, studying and interpreting his field notes and working in the field using photography, video, audio recordings and collecting significant objects. Café Mito da Utopia, a collaboration with Stacy Hardy, Kiluanje Liberdade and local partners in Tombwa, functions as a research laboratory to grow and deepen the tecktonik.TOMBWA archive, reenacting Zita’s methodologies and using them to engage otherness, structural exploitation, and global inequality in the contemporary, as well as to rethink the human place in the biosphere and how we are connected to the world.

The Cantoneiros Houses

for Zita the houses were the main reference to his work as they represented the symbolic and mythical universe that belonged to the European and Portuguese imagination in particular: a house in the African desert, a road that goes to the end of the world, electrical poles and their lines, a church, a theater and debris left abandoned.

Scavenging – Recycling

Local communities, pushed to the brink of survival by ecological destruction mainly due to overfishing by large international industrial fishing companies, are recycling old concrete electric distribution poles, which run in a line across the desert from Namibe to Tombwa. While this isn’t overtly an ecological strategy for these communities it nonetheless speaks of both the effects of globalisation and late industrialism on communities, as well as their ingenuity. The recognition that we can recycle and reuse what we have, points one way forward. All of over 400 of these poles have by now completely toppled by desert scavenging. Their concrete remains lie as graves in the desert that testify to both a history and a possible future.


Zita interpreted the various man-made interventions in the area, such as excavations by heavy machinery, as human ‘inscriptions’ written in a foreign tongue by the colonial “utopian” dream to subjugate nature. He envisaged using satellite images, together with local forms of cartography that embrace walking as a method, to read these inscriptions alongside the deep history engraved into the sand, the rocks, the land that attend to the ancient and future memories tracing the pathways of animals, matter, people, and plants across ancestral and current systems of migration, seasonal displacement and transhumance in the region and resonating landscapes.

A PangeiArt project in the
Namibe desert in the south
west coast of Angola.


Find us at

Rua do Massangano,
Edifício Anangola,

Contact us at

Loods 6
KNSM-laan 155
1019 LC



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