Elisa Santos

Artist – Representing Temporary Occupations

Lisbon, Portugal

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 take over public spaces in their city. The project takes shape as a series of exhibitions and interventions arranged around central themes that have included “Africa is not a country”, which addresses clichés in post-colonial discourse. By giving voice to local artists, the project stands to change the perception that the region lacks cultural activity and production. Temporary Occupations has been supported financially by 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 to local participants and organizations who are continuing to use the project to create spaces for artists to intervene in public space.