Growing up in Darkness, Mario Macilau

Growing up in Darkness, Mario Macilau

Recent Photo Series by photographer Mario Macilau. Macilau photographs children who are growing up in Mozambique on streets with no electricity.  According to a feature on CNN, his photographs ‘”were shot in natural light and developed using a pigmented inkjet technique, resulting in a black-and-white photo series that provides a hauntingly rich and raw portrait of these children’s lives.”








Artist Bio

Mário Macilau´s photography artwork focuses on political, social and cultural issues, linked to the radical transformations of the human kind in time and space. In his photography, he deals with the complex reality of human labor and the environmental conditions evolving over the times, using the images he captures as a form of visual confrontation that state a line of reflection to the reality.

He usually works on short and long-term personal projects, in which those subjects are treated on his “Island of Dreams”. The main characteristic of his representations is the details of his portraits, in which the expression of the characters revile their likeness and personality, making us travel through bodies that contain a vast inner reality and the experience of reality itself.

In his projects, he uses a variety of techniques and photographic processes, making his work consistent with the subject matter and his artistic identity. What makes his photographs recognizable is the capacity to invade the people´s hearts and capture their feelings. The subjects come from different times, states of mind, surroundings, people and their stories that unfold over his eye, seeking what still remains unknown inside him.

For him, working with the ghosts of society as the main characters of his photographs is a long story, dating back to the time when he washed cars on the streets of a post-war Maputo. He was a ghost of society and would have disappeared in the city if photography had not intruded on his way, as a child in a mother’s life. This experience triggered the foundations of a nonconformity lifestyle, in which he uses photography to communicate his experience with the human greed, seeing the weakest generate the wealth of the strongest, with human misery as their unique compensation.

In this sense, what motivate him to go out and photograph is, obviously, the people and their stories, because he believes in them and in photography as a tool for social changes.

1 comment

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  1. Fuko

    November 6, 2015 at 9:35 am

    Question, are these kids aware that their picture are sold for 300,000 KES and plus each in galleries (edition of 8, that’s almost 3 millions KES for each picture of serie) and are they getting a share of profit made fro; their image, I doubt.

    There is not only an ethical problem but there are laws too. But yeah, African kids, it is fine as they are ignorant, don’t have money to sue and laws and order is weak. Sad but true ! No respect for this, sorry !

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