Quel Pedra (That Stone)

16 – 31 December 2017

2014 + 2016

There is a legend in Mindelo, in the island of São Vicente, which says that those who sit on a specific stone in the neighborhood of Font Flip, will became gay. It was in this neighborhood that I met Steffy and seven of his friends: Edinha, Gi, Elton, Sindji, Susy, Henio and Jason. These boys, aged between seventeen and twenty-five years are transgender, in as much that they like to wear women`s clothing, make up, and to be called by women’s names. Faced by this specific situation in Cape Verde, and the significance of this stone, I decided to entitle this work “Quel Pedra”, which is Creole for “That Stone”.

There is a high degree of intolerance towards homosexuals in many African countries, in some cases motivated by religious beliefs, others out of ignorance. Many Africans are forced to immigrate to Europe due to their inability to live their sexuality freely. Sexual relations between persons of the same sex were only legalized in 2004 in Cape Verde. Until then, it was a crime to have a homosexual relationship. In twelve years, the law has changed, but the discrimination persists. In 2013, a year before I met this group of friends, the first Gay Parade was held in Mindelo.

Given these facts, I was interested in living in this community, in order to understand their dreams, frustrations, hopes and fears. Where their courage and attitude came from. I was with them in two separate moments; one in late 2014 and in March 2016. It was interesting to see how much has changed in the lives of these Cape Verdian youngsters, and in what manner.

The idea of this work is to confront the viewer with their own prejudices, challenging the conventions and standards concerning the identity of the human being. Simone de Beauvoir once said: “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman”, perhaps the aim of this work is to unveil what it means to be woman today.



Pauliana Valente Pimentel was born in Lisbon in 1975, the city where she still lives but she is working all around the world. As an artist and a freelance photographer she has been producing photo reportages since 1999 for various Portuguese and foreign magazines and newspapers.

In 2005 she took part in the photography course of the Gulbenkian Creativity and Artistic Creation Program. She was member of the Kameraphoto collective from 2006 until its extinction in 2014, and a founding member of the N’WE collective in 2016. Besides her participation in collectively authored books, she produced her own first book “VOL I” in 2009, published by Pierre Von Kleist and “Caucase, Souvenirs de Voyage” in 2011 by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

Filmography: “Diz-se que Portugal é um bom país para se viver”, 40 min, Portugal 2011; “Jovens de Atenas / Youth of Athens”, 13 min. Athens, Greece, 2012; “Entre Nous”, 51 min. Portugal, France, 2014.

In 2015 she won the prize for the best photographic work of the year by the Portuguese Author Society and in 2016 she was nominee for the Novo Banco prize, the most important prize in Portugal for contemporary photography. She did already several exhibitions in Europe – Portugal, Spain, Italy, England, Germany, Greece, but also outside such as EUA, Turkey, China and Africa (Morocco, and Cape Vert). She was represented for five years by Galeria 3+1 Arte Contemporanea in Chiado and seven years by Galeria das Salgadeiras, in Lisbon. Nowadays she collaborates with several galleries in Europe and part of her work belongs to private and institutional collections.




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