Macilau started photography when he was only 19 years old. His professional career begins in an unexpected way in 2007 as he trades his mother’s mobile phone against a camera. Macilau grows up and evolves in the newly independent Mozambique, in the midst of the civil war.
The critical environment that is this long dark period in the history of the country, serves as an impetus to creativity. As a photographer, he dedicates himself to long-term projects in which he is committed to initiate positive changes. His work has then principally one objective: confronting the realities, power relations, and cultural heritages. Indeed, through his work, he highlights common problematics related to political, social and cultural issues. It is not for him to reflect the misery of his country through a comparative study.
Macilau’s work gathers various techniques. His aesthetic choices serve the subject, which away from the lens, is invisible or nonexistent. It is in these circumstances that Macilau not only makes the invisible visible, but also turns the undesirable attractive and even touching. He then highlights people’s stories, situations, matters that society purposely wants to ignore. His own experience as a ghost of society in the streets of post-war Maputo, seeks to witness the possible way out of misery.