University of Aveiro, Portugal

21st, 22nd and 23rd October 2020

Laurinda Gouveia: guest speaker

June 30th, 2020 10:15

Photo: Ondjango

She took a Philosophy course at the Catholic University of Angola, while working as a cleaning maid and also selling barbecue, soup and beer on the street. She grew up far from her mother and har father has passed away. She was educated by her paternal uncles, who paid for her studies until the tenth year, when she needed to self-finance her studies.

She started in activism in 2011, in the “movimento revolucionário” [revolutionary movement], being one of the few women who fought against the corruption of the party that has ruled Angola for over 40 years, the Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA) [Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola], presided at that time, by José Eduardo dos Santos.

In 2014 she was brutally beaten by the Angolan national police for being in a riot taking pictures, as a citizen reporter, and in 2016 she was accused in the process that became known as the “15 + 2 process”, for being in the group of 17 young people who were reading Gene Sharp’s book “From Dictatorship to Democracy”. The first case resulted in her being expelled from her home by her family, who did not want her to be involved in politics, the second resulted in a four-year and six months sentence of prison in a closed regime for crimes of “preparatory acts of rebellion and association of wrongdoers”, in a trial that, according to Amnesty International, violated all international rules governing a fair trial.

She is currently one of the leaders of the movement to defend the rights of “zungueiras” (street vendors), also collaborates with the project Central Angola 7311, that documents and makes public human rights violations in Angola and is the coordinator of the only feminist collective in the country, Ondjango Feminista, since its foundation in 2016, whose great achievement was to be able to stop the law that intended to prohibit abortion in all circumstances.