Three Vignettes Looking For Their Story: The Luanda Trial of 1976 ⎻ Marissa Moorman

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1418 Van Hise Hall
@ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

ACS Work-in-Progress series

Speaker: Marissa Moorman ⎻ Program Faculty Director, African Studies; Professor, African Cultural Studies

In June 1976, the newly independent Angolan state put thirteen British and American mercenaries on trial. Charged with acts against peace and the crime of mercenarism, the People’s Prosecutor denounced their deeds and called out the powers that propelled them: Henry Kissinger, Mobutu Sese Seko, and Gerald Ford. Found guilty of the crimes of which they had been accused,  the sentence called for execution by firing squad for four of the men and eight year prison sentences for the other nine. The trial was an international affair that involved not only Angolan, British, and U.S. citizens but a host of others (Brazilians, Cubans, Chileans, and Nigerians, among others). This talk focuses on three of these individuals: Lennox Hinds, an African American lawyer, Teresinha Lopes, an Angolan defense attorney, and Wellington Moreira Diniz, a Brazilian filmmaker and exile of Brazil’s military dictatorship. Taken together, what can they tell us about the work the trial attempted? About decolonization in the Cold War? And Cold War cultural production in southern Africa?