CULTURAL ACTIVIST – REPRESENTING TEMPORARY OCCUPATIONS
• Santos drives ongoing exhibition series Temporary Occupations, a dynamic platform for urban interventions that explores such issues as architectural heritage and national identity.
• Temporary Occupations has had acclaimed installments in Maputo, Mozambique; Mindelo, Cape Verde; and Lisbon, Portugal.
• Temporary Occupations was nominated by 2010 Summit Presenter, Curator Bisi Silva for the 2013 Visible Art Prize, a prestigious international award honoring and producing socially engaged art
Conscious of the role that occupation plays in Mozambique’s collective psyche, Portuguese arts activist and human-rights advocate Elisa Santos founded Temporary Occupations in 2010 to provide opportunities for young artists to utilize public spaces in their city. The project is a series of exhibitions and interventions arranged around central themes of occupation such as “Who’s the Foreigner?” which addresses clichés in postcolonial discourse. By giving voice to local artists, the project aims to change the perception that the region lacks cultural activity and production. Temporary Occupations was financially supported by the CFM (Mozambican Train Company), the Swiss Embassy and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Portugal and was recently nominated for the internationally acclaimed Visible Art Prize. Recently, Santos has passed the torch on to local participants and organizations who continue to use the project in its intended capacity.