Faces of Moma

Faces of Moma

            The concept originated in Angola, when Nuno realized the impact of photography in the kids, when they see themselves in the screen of the camera, but even more if they can keep that moment in a printed photograph, probably the only one that many of those children will keep from their childhood… and this is what happened. He took with him a portable printer that enable to make this gesture, causing the most amazing smiles.

In Mozambique, the concept went further, carrying out numerous photographic sessions, spread by different communities, sometimes with more than 300 kids, waiting impatiently for their turn in the queue, or curled up on his shoulders to see the photographic moment of their friends. Supported by a larger logistics, it was possible to collect funds through printed photographs, which were fully used to buy fishing boats and agriculture tools to offer to the small settlements.

This concept recalls the proverb principle, to supply the fishing rod and not the fish, so that each initiative becomes sustainable. This idea is also behind another principle, to boost the cycle of change in the perception of who receives, and how we should help those most in need.

Some of these photographic moments that are presented here belong to this social project, which was first mentioned and disclosed during an interview with Germano Campos from RDP Africa, in a reportage about the province of Nampula, Mozambique. After this first contact with the media, Germano Campos, was an undeniable adept and supporter of this initiative, contacting his colleague and friend Luiz Carvalho, who immediately embraced this idea, exposing through an interview for his TV show "Fotografia Total" the principle behind the images, and using them in his photography courses. Mia Couto, the great Mozambican writer and holder of a great sensitivity of human values, offered the space of the Foundation that presides, "Fernando Leite Couto" in Maputo, Mozambique, for the exhibition and dissemination of this work. The Mozambican artist Manuela Madeira, currently residing in Dublin, showed interest in exhibiting in partnership with her own art, in the city of Dublin. The former music producer of “Vinícius de Moraes”, Fred Rossi, has already made the first contacts to exhibit these works in Brazil, through the Cultural Center of São Paulo and the Cultural Center of Banco do Brasil. The South Korean couple, who provoked a unique moment, during the meeting with the photojournalist Luiz Carvalho for the interview, recently informed the intention to promote these pictures making an exposition in South Korea. During the months of January and February of 2017, these works were exhibited in the municipal library of Mangualde, central Portugal, becoming the sponsor of this exhibition that is intended to reach the entire Portuguese territory.

With these photographs, Nuno Santos launches a challenge for those who observe them, to travel through these glances and moments, and to interpret other realities that are not only of who was photographed, but to all of us. We belong to humanity, living in a world that was born without boundaries, no nationalities, where only the way we live sets us apart, but which all share the same miracle, the LIFE.

Aprendi que o maior reconhecimento não vem por palavras ou gestos recíprocos, mas sim de uma forma bem mais silenciosa e imperecível… e foi desta forma que deixei um pouco de mim neste canto do mundo, e levei um pouco deste povo comigo.”

"I learned that the greatest recognition does not come from reciprocal words or gestures, but rather from a much more silent and imperishable form ... and this is how I left a part of myself in this corner of the world, and I took some of this people with me."

Nuno Santos


“Just wanted to leave my words of appreciation and gratitude for what you have done for our people. It is immensurable and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for that humble and human soul you are. You cannot imagine what your gesture means for those people and I as a Mozambican, I’m personally touched by your kindness and care for my people. Thank you so much and may you continue to touch people´s life through your kind and caring actions! God Bless you always”

                                     Regina Macuacua (Mozambique)

“Thanks Nuno for this outstanding work and achieved philanthropic venture. You have followed the steps of Mungo Park, the great Scottish explorer who started his journey of Africa in 1794. He brought hope to the African people. Once he wrote: “whatever difference there is between the negro and European, in the conformation of the nose, and the colour of the skin, there is none in the genuine sympathies and characteristic feelings of our common nature”.

So our fellow great Geologist; we are proud of you in your sensitivity to the plight of these communities. Firstly, you gave them memorabilia in the form of pictures. Now you giving them a net to fish (i.e., boats) which is desirable extremely for any sustainable development humane project.

Please be rest assured that we shall be there to give you the honorable moral and vivid support you need. We are proud of your social achievement.

Words do speak and solve problems of today via actions, however, cameras do propel us into the future with internal sincerity, via the reflective past they bring (SAPK, 2011).”

             Sonsiama Kargbo (Sierra Leone)

“I thought that if I had to give the opening speech to your first expo, this is what I would say:

Good evening,

It is with great pleasure that I stand before you to present the art from the eye of Nuno Andre Ramos Rodrigues dos Santos.

He is my colleague and dear friend.

Nuno is a very passionate person, and when he loves something he put 150% into it.

So he does in his job, his photography, and also his friendship.

He does not need any introduction from me as he has probably sold you a camera or a lens – at a good price of course.

But that’s only because he is a Porra. A real Portuguese from Portugal. Porto in Portugal. Mainland. Not Madeira.

We all know Nuno’s beautiful aerial photographs of the mine, all though he couldn’t have done it without his assistant – Me.

I am unofficially Nuno’s agent, all though I still need to earn my first cent.

In 1976 television came to South Africa. I remember when we got our first colour television. Not black and white.

It was great! I love colour. I dream in colour. I can smell colour. I can even taste colour.

However, I have my doubts about Nuno.

Nuno has a passion for black and white, and that’s his style.

As his manager, I sometime help Nuno with my honest opinion, when he asks for it.

And yeah, his right. Sometimes it just works better in black and white.

I took the little one to the Kruger National Park for 3 days.

And as we drive through the Kruger and we don’t see a lot of animals I start talking about birds. Showing him the purple breasted Roller, alas blue bird from now on. The beautiful bee-eater. The green and the pink variety. The ground hornbill with its unmistakable red throat. And the silly baboons getting drunk on Marulas, but what is Nuno interested in…

Not the “big five”, oh no. The impalas, the zebras and the vultures.

Needless to say, when we got back from Kruger I asked Nuno if I could please have some of his photographs.

He gave me my blue bird (in colour) he gave me the ground hornbill (in colour), but still his best shot was the Vultures, sitting in a dead tree – in black and white.

Therefor I want you to look at these photos through Nuno’s eyes.

See how much more detail you can see if you are not blinded by colour. Look at the detail in the girl’s scarf. Look at the old man’s eyes. Look at the hope in the eyes of that little boy.

I present to you: Faces of Moma, by my dear friend Nuno Santos.”

Lize Davel (South Africa)


“Incredible picture. It says everything about Africa and the Developing world in general. In the background is the first world or developed world and in the foreground you have the “the man”, bowed, tired, resting.

Is he on his way to collect water or is he just resting, a reminder to us all that we are mortal beings.

Great shot Nuno.”

Fintan McGovern (Ireland)

“Yesterday I came back to my hotel, I watched your photos again and again.

Your photos have the power of reality and the purity and honesty that make moving someone's heart.

The photos represent your soul. You started great steps, I am very happy to know you.”

Hyun-Yang Kim (South Korea)