Pé Na Txada

Vadu Rodrigues

Pé Na Txada is a Cape Verdean Kriolu expression that can have multiple interpretations and meanings. It’s a perfect combination to describe this visual diary of my three-year photographic journey exploring six of the ten Cape Verdean Islands while rediscovering the culture and its people.

It’s especially significant because I returned home after spending 12 years abroad, having moved to Portugal when I was 17 to study, where I also started my career as a photographer.

I was in Cabo Verde for a month to work on a project (@PositiveAfrica #positivewestafrica) when COVID-19 happened. I could have left, but I decided to stay and use that opportunity to understand home and use my voice and platform to help inspire people from the same background as me.

Pé Na Txada was a journey. 

Before returning to Cabo Verde, I was also determined to travel to every African country, photograph, and highlight the positive side of Africa, starting with West Africa.

Vadu Rodrigues is a visual artist born in Cabo Verde Island who specialises in photography and has been capturing his travel journey across more than 29 countries and three continents. Those experiences have been a strong influence on the particular way he interprets the reality surrounding him. In 2022 he received the prestigious Mandela Washington Fellowship and spent six weeks in residence at Michigan State University in East Lansing. He worked with a group of African community organisers from 22 different countries. He was invited by the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, to take part in the African and Diaspora Young Leaders Forum, which took place during President Biden’s US-Africa Leaders Summit 2022. Among his most recent professional achievements are: Distinguished with the Alumni Award from the University of Madeira in Portugal (In May of 2023); A solo exhibition, titled POSITIVE AFRICA (Installed at the National Parliament of Cape Verde, in cooperation with the European Union Delegation in Cape Verde); and A Collective Exhibition titled Creativity in time of Covid-19 at the College of Art MSU, Michigan, USA; His works can be seen in various projects of collaborations, with names such as SOJU AFRIKA – The soju photography project; DEARWORLD.COM (USA); Voice Smith by Joel Trill (UK); and many others. Today, he divides his time between his master’s studies at Michigan State University (MSU), where he is pursuing a Master’s in Fine Art, and his project “Movement Positive Africa”, which has been leading him to discover many landscapes, cultures, and People in West Africa, portraying the positive side of everywhere he passes by.

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