“I consider my photographic practice to be a visual investigation, taking a critical view on identity, political issues, and environmental conditions. These three broad themes come into focus through their impact on socially isolated groups, groups who need to retrieve their voices and to cast light on these issues as they affect their own particular experience.”
Mário Macilau was born in 1984 in Maputo, Mozambique where he still currently lives and works.
Macilau started his photographic journey in 2003, and went professional after he traded his mother’s cellphone for his first camera in 2007. He specialises in long-term projects that link to multiple sub-genres; identity, political issues, environmental conditions, and engagement with socially isolated groups. Macilau is committed to initiating positive change across different cultures, locations, and perspectives. Taking portraiture as a point of departure, intimacy becomes the key to unlocking broader perspectives or narratives. The way Macilau shoots is crucial for rich compositions (black and white, with muted tones and textures), and he uses depth of field and natural light – sometimes resulting in dark black or underexposed background – to achieve a nuanced and poetic atmosphere in his images.
Macilau has been involved in many collaborative and educational projects. He is also an activist with Walking Together (WT), a project for children’s rights which also provides access to education for girls and women. WT’s aim is to equip people with tools and resources in order to transition from their current reality to one of self-suitability.
Macilau’s work is held in many private and public collections.