Catarina Simão (born 1972, Lisbon, Portugal) is an artist and independent researcher based in Lisbon. She’s dedicated to the study of the political use of images. Her practice is shaped by long-term research projects that manifest as essay-like displays, combining archival film, photography, and video assemblages of old propaganda films produced during the struggle against Portuguese colonial occupation In 2009 Simão travelled to Maputo, Mozambique, where she encountered the state film archive. Over the past seven years, she has created a frame of research focusing on the archive, which was founded shortly after Mozambique gained independence from Portugal in 1975. The new government considered cinema as a powerful tool to fight against imperialism, and as a result the archive contains socialist propaganda films from the 1970s and early ’80s. Through the archive, Simão accessed imagery that offers a radically different construction of European colonial history. UHURU: stamp, geneology, anatomy (2015) is a mixed-media installation that displays a set of literary, pedagogical, and cinematic references taken from Mozambique’s history. Uhuru is the Swahili word for freedom – that is, freedom to work on one’s own land. Following the establishment of liberation movements in Mozambique the word uhuru took on greater significance, assuming the full meaning of national independence. An original official stamp from 1980 and documentation from the film archive are presented within the exhibition space. A collection of photograms shown references the work of Jean Luc Godard, Jean Rouch, and Ray Guerra. By unfolding a chain of relationships between films and the interference of colonial countries in their production, financing, and organization, Simão deals with a political reframing of these films. Through research and artistic intervention informed by cinematic representations from the Mozambique archive, she raises questions about representation in a culture with a colonial legacy.