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Mozambique: Photographer Mario Macilau captures the ghosts of his country

By Olympe Lemut
Posted on Monday, 5 April 2021 08:35

“Circles of memories” by Mario Macilau © Mario Macilau

Through his photographic series, Mario Macilau examines the recent history of Mozambique, where the traces of colonialism still affect daily life.

Can photography be used to exorcise the ghosts of a country? This question plays an important role in the work of Mario Macilau, who took up photography somewhat by chance. Born in 1984, he began photographing the streets of Maputo just after the civil war from 1977-1992.

His subjects were mostly street children. “At first, I thought of the camera as a toy because of the polaroids, it seemed strange. But after the peace accords in 1992, NGOs and foreign missionaries left Mozambique, leaving behind cameras.”