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With Stunning Black and White Images, Photographer Mario Marcilau Uses the ‘Language’ of His Craft to Question Society    

Everyone communicates in different ways, and Mozambican photographer, Mario Marcilau, speaks through his pictures. By focusing his lens on historic rituals, marginalized people, and environmental concerns, he uses his photos to tell stories, create records, and critique societal norms. Macilau, 38, uses his craft to question every aspect of society. The focus of his long-term projects ranges from depicting how colonialism has impacted Mozambique’s architecture, to the preservation of the country’s ancient religious ceremonies, and the raw realities of marginalized groups. The photographer’s experience of life on the fringe of society led him to create one of his most haunting series, “Growing up in Darkness.” Over the course of several years, Macilau documented the conditions of street kids living in Maputo — a tough reality facing many Mozambican children. According to a 2020 UNICEF report, 74% of children in the southern African nation lack proper access to basic infrastructure including sanitation and electricity.