Large mural of woman's head wearing a colourful headscarf
Cape Verde,  Photographing Public Art,  Street art,  Travel galleries

Gallery: Cape Verde street art

Most people visit Cape Verde for the classic three Ss: sun, sea and sand. We came mainly for the first of these, in search of some February warmth. In truth it wasn’t as warm as we’d hoped, so maybe it was a good thing we had relatively little interest in the other two (although I always love to see the sea, I should add).

Instead we spent our time exploring the small capital town of Praia on the island of Santiago, where we stayed, and on some day trips out of town. One of these took us to Tarrafal, on the island’s northern tip. There, and in Praia itself, we found lots of colourful street art. So here’s a selection of my favourites, shared for this week’s Photographing Public Art challenge.

My featured shot was taken in Tarrafal, as were the first two below. The rest are all from Praia.

In Tarrafal
Mural of woman's face and slogan 'Alma Feminina'

‘Alma Feminina’: the soul of a woman. I saw this slogan and image in several places but I have no idea if it was linked to a specific campaign.


Mural of a woman with a basket of fish

Another from Tarrafal, near the fish market


In Praia
Wall painting of a man with glasses and green skull cap
Wall painting of a woman selling fruit

In Praia, murals on the wall of the Amílcar Cabral Foundation. Cabral led the nationalist movement of Guinea-Bissau and the Cape Verde Islands and the ensuing war of independence in Guinea-Bissau. He was also an intellectual and poet. He was assassinated on 20 January 1973.


Writing on a wall with yellow shutters

Also on the wall of the Amílcar Cabral Foundation. Cabral is honoured all over Cape Verde. His image appears on one of the bank notes and is seen everywhere; and the airport in Sal named after him. And also in many other countries as he supported national independence movements worldwide.

My Portuguese is very limited, but I got the gist of this quotation from his work which is incorporated in the murals. I later tracked down a full translation:

‘I swore to myself that I have to give all my life, all my energy, all my courage, all the capacity that I have as a man, until the day I die, in the service of my people in Guinea and Cape Verde. Serving the cause of humanity by giving my contribution, to the extent possible, for the life of man to become better in the world. This is what my work is.’


Wall painting of strange people

I have no idea of the significance of these strange creatures!


Wall painting of strange people dancing

Another from the same building


Fragment of street art mural

And a building nearby; similar colour palette but a different style


Painting of man's face and slogan 'What is freedom?'

What is freedom?


Mural of woman's face and slogan 'Alma Feminina'
Mural of woman's face and slogan 'Alma Feminina'

Two more examples of ‘Alma Feminina’


Flight of stone steps each painted a different colour
Man descending a flight of stone steps each painted a different colour

And to finish, something a bit different. These colourful steps lead up to the old town of Praia, known as Plateau, where I discovered all these street art examples.

I visited Cape Verde in 2018

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