Godmothers of War (Madrinhas de Guerra)"
Project info

"Madrinhas de Guerra” or “Godmothers of War” tells the story of the Mozambican women who took part in the National Women’s Movement from 1961-1974. These women were sponsored by the Portuguese government to provide moral support to the soldiers fighting on the frontlines of during the Mozambican War of Independence. Through letter writing campaigns to soldiers – many of whom they never actually met – the Madrinhas de Guerra played a critical role in the psychological support to the colonial armed forces. Some Madrinhas went so far as to meet and regularly visit the soldiers to whom they wrote letters, developing deep relationships sometimes leading to promises of marriage when the young men returned at the end of the war. In exchange for their support during the war, many of these women were rewarded with influential positions in society and the upper classes. In 1974, when the war of independence ended with a ceasefire agreement between the Mozambican FRELIMO forces and the Portuguese government, the National Women’s Movement oᚌcially ended. However, the Madrinhas de Guerra were ostracized within Mozambican society for their role in supporting the colonial forces. This project conceptualizes the "fall from grace" experienced by these women by visiting the now dilapidated homes given to these women by the Portuguese government as a reward for their loyalty. The project features portraits of the Madrinhas in fashionable clothing from the time when they represented the highest echelon of society.