Cry for Freedom was Malangatana’s response to the December 16, 1972, massacre of the civilian population of Wiriyamu, a small village in Mozambique, by the Portuguese army. The country established independence from Portugal three years later. This painting is representative of Malangatana’s “all-over” approach, in which each area of the composition is given equal attention and significance. He believed that “horror opens the door to the fantastic,” and in this scene of colonial violence he interspersed ominous birds and reptilian beings among soldiers, civilians, field workers, and daggers.
Gallery label from 2021