With Euro-Afro-Asian roots, Ricardo Rangel was born in Lourenço Marques, now Maputo, in 1924. In the early 1950s, Rangel was hired as the first non- white employee to join the Mozambican newspaper Noticias de Tarde, where he worked as a junior photographer.
Rangel photographed some of the watershed moments in Mozambique’s troubled history under colonial rule and the lengthy liberation war, until its independence in 1975. Despite his commitment to the country were he lived and died, Rangel declined an offer to be Mozambique’s official artist for the new Marxist revolutionary government (renown for having hired the likes of Jean-Luc Godard and Jean Rouche to help form the new image of a united Mozambique). He decided instead to focus on his photographic work and assumed the direction of the Centre of Photographic Formation.
His work is documented in numerous publications and has been exhibited around the world. Rangel’s on-going project, entitled Our Nightly Bread, is a gripping diary of the Rua Araújo, the historical red light district of Maputo of the 1960s. The series, which spans some twenty years, is often considered a masterpiece of African photography.