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A tortured history of slavery, droughts and a steady flow of emigration have done little to boost the archipelago’s standing in the modern day world, still far from the beaten track Cape Verde has been kept virtually secret – until now. Uninhabited until the arrival of the Portuguese in 1456 and independent since 1975 Cape Verde comprises 18 islands that lie 500km west of Senegal.
The islands are currently experiencing another European invasion, this time by package tourists and property developers who are being welcomed with open arms. In Salamansa, Sao Vicente, the Cape Verdean Prime Minister has recently signed a deal with a Scottish developer to build a £700 million resort that includes an 18 hole Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, a 200 berth marina, 3 five star hotels and 1500 luxury villas and apartments. At present Salamansa is a small fishing village with a school and a beach.
The cultural hinterland is rich and varied and more compelling than anything the Canaries or the Caribbean can offer. What has drawn me, and many others to Cape Verde are the seductive melodies of their music and singing, the islands sway to a Creole blend of African, Cuban and Brazilian rhythms wrapped up in delicious melancholy.
This is the inspiration behind my photography.