The Chicala Observatory is an archive about the history and urban culture of Chicala’s neighbourhood, its relationship with the city of Luanda and informal settlements in Angola, Africa and the world.
The Observatory materializes in a database elaborated through participatory research methods, involving residents, local authorities and professionals from various fields. This research project actively advocates a careful look at the traditionally African typology of the musseque, commonly called the slum, and its particular materialization in Chicala; it underlines the importance and particularity of such a typology, instilling it with the value it deserves. The project is based at the Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Agostinho Neto University (Angola), and is coordinated by architects Isabel Martins and Paulo Moreira. The Observatory team is formed by Analicia Gonçalves da Silva, Érica Morgado, Daniel de Freitas and Joana Venâncio, a a group of residents from Chicala, among which the photographer Paulino Damião (“Kota 50”) and family, the artisans Mestre Nelito and João Manuel, and numerous friends and researchers from the neighbourhood, the country and abroad.