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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Mário Macilau and the Price of Cement

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/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. 
                                                                Untitled (The Price of Cement) 5 C-Print 2013 Editions of 6 

Mário Macilau

B.1984 in  Maputo, Mozambique  where he lives and works 
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.
Macilau started his journey as photographer in 2003 and went  professional  when he traded his mother’s cell phone for his first camera in 2007, he specializes 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  and recently he has been included at the Pan African group exhibition during the Biennale of African Photography in Bamako 2011 where 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 2011, the Photo Spring in Beijing, China 2011, Lagos Photo I and II in Nigeria, The KLM in Malasya 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, The first prize from the Protection Project in Washington DC 2012, the EVTZ Foundation prize in Germany, the Santa Lucia Award in Spain 2011, the AECID Award for creation in 2011, he won the talent prize from France Embassy in Maputo in 2011, the TDM Bienal in Maputo ... Mário Macilau regularly attends the Annual Photography Master Class  in Africa organized by Goethe Institute, Johannesburg.
Mário Macilau was recently featured on Al Jazeera’s Artscape programme in May 2013 
For enquiries about Mario Macilau’s work please contact: 
Ed Cross +44 (0) 7507067567