Making of




Angola’s booming economy has made Luanda a major destination for international migrants, the majority of whom are ‘returning’ from the former colonial power, Portugal. Most end up living in luxurious condominiums, detached from the vibrant city surrounding their homes and workplaces. The Ilha de Luanda and the Mussulo peninsula are beach-lined peninsulas on the Luandan coast, which offer an escape from ‘expatriate’ confinement.


Isle of Pleasures examines the places where the city’s residents go to soothe the stresses of everyday life. Traditionally in Luanda, these were places for people from all walks of life and of all social statuses. However, the ongoing urban regeneration of the city is producing increasing urban and social disparity and segregation. Today, with the relentless regeneration of the city and the proliferation of gated developments and security apparatus, Luanda’s pleasure resorts risk becoming yet another gilded cage for ‘expatriate’ and local elites.


The Isle of Pleasures is a global phenomenon in ‘world-class’ cities. These are places where the elites can revel in luxury, often in the midst of, yet completely detached from, the local population and its social, economic and political context.


Isle of Pleasures is a project by Paulo Moreira and Pétur Waldorff for the exhibition On Residence: After Belonging, Oslo Architecture Triennale 2016 (8th September – 27th November), curated by After Belonging Agency.



Paulo Moreira is an architect based in Porto (Portugal) and a researcher at the CASS School of Architecture (London, UK). He is the co-coordinator of The Chicala Observatory, a research project based at Agostinho Neto University (Angola).




Pétur Waldorff is an academic based in Reykjavík (Iceland). He holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from McGill University (2014) and is a senior researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute (Sweden) in the project Masters or Migrants? The New Portuguese Migration to Angola.



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