Selected works by Mário Macilau

Mário Macilau
Purification of the Soul (The Zionist series)

2010

Print on cotton rag paper

120 x 80 cm

Mário Macilau’s ambitious path towards becoming a social documentary photographer began with a symbolically charged instance. At the age of fourteen, while walking down Vladimir Lenin Avenue in Maputo he shot his first image with a borrowed camera, capturing a woman selling cassava in a street market. From that site, marked by the name of a political leader whose revolution was imported to Africa, his personal utopia took him to travel the world as a professional photographer. The artist’s photographs, which unveil the human condition under the oppression of injustice and the hardship of poverty, have been exhibited internationally.

Mário Macilau
Children of Jesus (The Zionist series)

2010

Print on cotton rag paper

120 x 80 cm

Macilau embarks in long standing thematic essays, constructing a narrative that, by means of a certain epic realism, produces ambivalent images of arresting power, as they are simultaneously crude and beautiful, mesmerizing and heartbreaking.
His subject matter is found in African living conditions, social imbalance, environmental disaster and waste, all issues that overwhelm daily life in his city of birth, Maputo, where he continues to live.

Mário Macilau
My Toy (The Zionist series)

2010

Print on cotton rag paper

120 x 80 cm

Sharing concern with many of his contemporaries, the artist’s labour series comprising of images of hard working conditions in cement plants or dump sites of Nairobi and Maputo, proposes a fresh approach to the burning issue of alternative economies, which is at the center of contemporary socio-economic debates.

Mário Macilau
Peace (The Zionist series)

2010

Print on cotton rag paper

120 x 80 cm

As in the film City of God, where a young photographer strives to record the beauty and terror of his environment and attempts to make a career to soothe the dystopia of underdevelopment, Mário Macilau is a vivid example of resilience and vision amid turbulent waters.

Text © Gabriela Salgado


Articles

MÁRIO MACILAU: A MESMERISING SIDEWAYS REFLECTION WELCOMING US INTO THE DEPTHS
Bleach, Issue; Wild Mint, by Daniel Perlaky

Looking at Mario Macilau's work is at once alarming and provoking, arresting and engaging, public and private, welcoming and disturbing, but, above all, utterly human. The young Mozambican photographer tangles with the power of the image and fervently documents the stories of his culture, and those of people around Africa, producing work that is beyond his years and digs right to the heart of his subjects in an attempt to help us understand and improve our collective lives.

We first saw your work at the BESPhoto installation in Lisbon and were struck not only by the power of your images but also the way you incorporated sounds. What do you think the sound adds to the installation of images?

As a photographer, I believe in the power of images and I've been exploring the relationship that exists between the environment, human beings, and time. Photography has connected me to incredible moments and experiences and all the places have taught me something valuable so I try to keep an open mind. The project you mentioned documents the traditional religious rituals of Mozambique and I realized that to really understand those people's lives, their moments, and their stories, I had to also work with video and sound to support the still images. I wanted to create a permanent context and it's my role as an artist to do that in a creative yet natural way – to help people really feel and connect with that experience.

Read the entire article here
Source: bleachonline.com


MÁRIO MACILAU
June 2013, by Unathi L. Sondiyazi, Okay Africa

Mozambique Photographer Mário Macilau on African Representations and ‘Living Life Forward’
The latest subject of Aljazeera‘s Artscape series, The New African Photography, is the young Mozambican photographer Mário Macilau. His images have been described as “alarming and provoking, arresting and engaging, public and private but, above all, utterly human.” Often portraying stunning moments that starkly reveal the social, political and economic environment of his country and beyond, he seeks both to connect with – at a seemingly divine level– as well as communicate for his often overlooked subjects. Okayafrica contributor Unathi L. Sondiyazi caught up with Mário to talk about representations of Africa and his body of work.

OKA: I understand the continent is broad and the problem of representation or misrepresentation isn’t a Western invention. Among African news networks one also finds problematic stereotypes pervading reportage, that also shape values, expectations and mindsets. Some say we are not only victims of Western distortion but we also have been complicit in the failure to shift the center away from colonial legacies. Do you agree?

Mário Macilau: I have learned though my journey in the world of photography and the travels I’ve had so far, that it helped me to open my own mind and to learn about other countries and their cultures. This helped me to understand mine in particular, and Africa in general … When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering. If Africa pretends to be a victim, then we’ll be the victims all the time. Before we point out the failures to others, let’s look to our relations, to our problems, and try to find a way to solve them. Remember that all of us in life as human beings has a choice and a way to begin something – even though I understand that the world is full of injustice – but this is just the way it is, so should we sing the same song all the time? If so, nothing will change, because life can only be understood backwards [in retrospect] but it must be lived forwards.

Read the entire article here
Source: okayafrica.com