Posts Tagged Contemporary African Photography

Mário Macilau and The Price of Cement

Mario Macilau The Price of CementUntitled (The Price of Cement ) 5 |  C-Print | 2013 | Edition: 6

The Price of Cement is a series of photographs by the young and acclaimed Mozambican photographer Mário Macilau. The works show the tragic reality of young boys and girls who work in illegal cement bagging operations in Mozambique in darkened buildings, hidden from view, recycling and cutting cement from cement spillages with disastrous consequences for their health. The images that ironically and intuitively reference the world of mime and fashion speak devastatingly for themselves. The empowerment of his subjects to tell their stories with dignity is central to Macilau’s important work. 

Mário Macilau was born in the newly independent Mozambique, in the midst of the most critical phase of its civil war. His family struggled financially and moved from the Inhambane province to the capital, Maputo, in search of a better life. When he was 10 years old he began to work in a small market frequented by the middle / upper class where he became a street child, washing cars in the car park and helping to carry the groceries in an effort to support his family.

Mario Macilau The Price of CementUntitled (The Price of Cement ) 3 |  C-Print | 2013 | Edition: 6

Macilau started his journey as photographer in 2003, when he traded his mother’s mobile phone for his first camera. In 2007, he became a professional photographer. He specialises in long-term projects that focus on living and environmental conditions. As a documentary photographer he is committed to initiating positive change across different cultures, locations and perspectives. In his home country he uses his work to confront the reality of power, environment and cultural heritage that affect socially isolated groups, and issues that define our times.

Macilau shows his work regularly in national and international exhibitions.  In 2011, his work was included in the Pan African group exhibition during the Biennale of African Photography in Bamako. He won the Crossing Point residency  in France at Les Rencontres D’arles in 2012 from Fondation Blachère. He was a finalist for the 7th edition of BESphoto 2011 in Portugal where his work has been shown at CCB – Centro Cultural de Belém. In Brazil he has exhibited at Pinacoteca de Estado de Sao Paulo. In 2011, he exhibited at VI Chobi Mela Photo Festival in Bangladesh, the Photo Spring in Beijing, China, Lagos Photo I and II in Nigeria, The KLM in Malaysia, among others.

Macilau has won many national and international  awards including  the Young ACP Photographer’s Competition in 2010, the Visa Pour La Creation 2012 from the French Institute and the first prize from the Protection Project in Washington DC 2012. He also won the talent prize from France Embassy in Maputo in 2011. Mário regularly attends the Annual Photography Master Class  in Africa organized by Goethe Institute, Johannesburg.

Mário Macilau was featured on Al Jazeera’s Artscape programme in May 2013.

Click here to view our collection of Mario Macilau prints.

For enquiries about Mario Macilau’s work please contact:

Ed Cross ed@edcrossfineart.com +44 (0) 7507067567

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