Italian photographer Matteo de Mayda recently travelled to the former Portuguese colony of Angola to document the country and its people ahead of the upcoming August elections, when José Eduardo dos Santos will step down as president after 37 years of amassing wealth and power for himself and his family.
Speaking of his series, Matteo said: "In Angola, the contrast between the new growth and the old poverty is striking, such as the one between the 'Marginal' of Luanda, the seafront symbol of a capital that dreams of becoming the new Dubai and the 'Musseques', the quarters of misery that are being demolished to build new skyscrapers, now as bare as skeletons.
"A land rich of mining resources where Chinese investors are building entire cities ready to accommodate thousands of their own immigrants, in the Angola of today you can witness a community of homeless children inhabit the abandoned site of the capital’s former most beautiful hotel."
Tracing the route of Polish author Kapuściński, whose book Another Day of Life describes the conquest of Angolan independence, Matteo arrived in the Cunene region where torrential rainfall is recovering the flora of the region after more than a year of drought.
He adds: "Between the baobabs of the Savannah in southern Angola, you encounter a vast cemetery of rusting tanks, which were abandoned en route to Luanda for the proclamation of independence from Portugal in 1975. The journey continues to the 'Casa de Espera' in the village of Chiulo, where pregnant women must walk many miles to have their babies delivered by the Italian NGOs Doctors for Africa CUAMM."
Focused on social projects and campaigns, Matteo has collaborated with brands such as Greenpeace, World Health Organisation and Doctors with Africa to highlight important current affairs through his photographic work. Discover more at www.matteodemayda.com.
Main image: A view of Luanda skyscrapers | Copyright of Matteo de Mayda