Ricardo Rangel
Photo: Jesper Milner Henriksen
Photo: Jesper Milner Henriksen

b. 1924, Maputo; d. 2009, Maputo

Ricardo Rangel was raised by his grandmother on the outskirts of Maputo (then called Lourenço Marques). He began his career in 1941 as an apprentice in the photography lab of Otílio Vasconcelos, where he honed his black-and-white printing skills. Within a few years, he was working as a printer for local newspapers such as the Lourenço Marques Guardian. In 1952, Rangel became a foto repôrter for Notícias da Tarde, making him Mozambique’s first non-white journalist to join a newspaper staff. A pioneer in photojournalism in the country, Rangel went on to work for several additional papers, co-founded Mozambique’s first color news magazine, Tempo, and trained countless press photographers.

Though much of Rangel’s work was lost or destroyed by colonial censors, the documentary images that remain reveal the racial and political upheaval that led to the end of Portuguese rule. Picturing average Mozambicans in cafes and bars, in the streets, and on beaches, his work offers an intimate glimpse into the lives affected by the conflict and its aftermath.

Rangel’s work has been shown internationally in group exhibitions such as Photographs by Ricardo Rangel and Mauro Pinto, Afronova Gallery, Johannesburg (2008); The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945–1994, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich (2001, traveled); and In/Sight: African Photographers, 1940 to the Present, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1996). Solo exhibitions include Ricardo Rangel: Fotografien, Africa Centre, University of Bayreuth, Germany (2003); and Ricardo Rangel, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (1992). He also participated in the 4th and 5th Rencontres de Bamako (2001, 2003).