A Man and His Journey
Exhibition Dates: June 23rd, 2012 – August, 2012
Aristides Pereira (November 17, 1923 – September 22, 2011) was the first President of the Republic of Cape Verde, after the former Portuguese colony achieved independence in 1975. Pereira was born on the island of Boa Vista. Beginning in the late 1940s, Pereira was heavily involved in the anti-colonial movement, organizing strikes and rising through the hierarchy of his party, the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (Partido Africano da Independência da Guiné e Cabo Verde, known as PAIGC).
Pereira was a frequent visitor to New Bedford and its large Cape Verdean community. A year after Cape Verdean independence in 1976, on the occasion of the bicentennial of American independence, Pereira presented the vessel Ernestina to the "people of the United States" to symbolize the strong historical and cultural connections between New Bedford and the island nation. On October 2, 1983 President Pereira became the first head of state ever to visit the Museum. 1983. The city of New Bedford held its official welcoming reception in the Lagoda room, which 29 years later celebrated the opening of the “Cape Verdean Maritime Exhibit”.
The Aristides Pereira International Airport on the island of Boa Vista, was officially renamed after him on November, 19, 2011.
This traveling photo tribute exhibition told the story of Pereira’s remarkable life and career and was guest curated by Ronald Barboza, a Cape Verdean American photographer who has chronicled the life of Pereira for decades.