LagosPhoto
Festival 2019

Welcome

Oct 23 -
Oct 23 2019

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Profit Corner

Just as Man is engaged in a struggle to survive the unrestrained forces of Nature, Nature also struggles to survive the ravages wrought by Man and his ravenous needs.

The Mozambican economy has grown steadily in the last few years, and this growth continues unabated to this day. It can namely be observed in the new electronics consumption trends emerging in Mozambican communities. Every day, people buy new or used electronic devices imported from industrialized countries. Generally poor in quality, the purchased commodities don’t last very long: it is as if they had been designed to break. Customers are accordingly forced to discard just-bought equipment and to seek upgrades on a regular basis.

 

And yet, even as these new television sets, mobile phones, radio receivers, digital cameras, computers and other consumer electronic devices are thrown out every day, there is no systemic plan to process and eliminate them once they have been discarded. There is no electronic waste (e-waste) management or recycling system in place. E-waste is now a major component of the material waste in the city and it is growing at an alarming rate. It is estimated that every year several million tons of e-waste are generated around the country, an amount that equals to roughly seven kilograms of waste for every person on the planet.

 

Hulene Dump is an open-pit waste dumpsite that has been in operation for roughly thirty-five years. Since Mozambique gained independence in 1975, the dumpsite has become a significant source of livelihood for various marginalized individuals with no other career perspectives. Located seven kilometres from the centre of Maputo, Mozambique’s capital and largest city, the Hulene Dump is the sole destination for all the trash and e-waste that the city produces. Over one thousand families participate in local garbage collection and the intensive labour that it involves. The members of this group also undertake the arduous task of sourcing, separating and selling the recyclable goods, while making their livelihood out of whatever they find to be edible or useable amid the rubbish.

 

Although the Hulene Rubbish Dump is the source of sustenance for this informal sector, it is also the cause of major environmental degradation. With each passing day, the natural environment surrounding the Dump is increasingly stripped bare as workers toil to extract valuable materials using primitive and environmentally destructive recycling methods. One of these methods is the burning of e-waste, which has intensified to a dramatic level over the past fifteen years. This is a practice that plunders the resources of the ecosystem.

 

Not only does the burning compromise agriculture, it undermines human rights. In effect, the burning of e-waste represents a serious hazard to public health, in particular to those who are living and working on the dumpsite and in other neighbouring waste disposal sites. The electronic products are made up of many different materials, and their components contain toxic substances such as lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic and flame-retardants. The toxics released by the burning of these substances seep into the environment. Those who work at these sites suffer from frequent bouts of illness resulting from contact with harmful industrial materials, theinhalation of toxic fumes and from the manifold chemicals that contaminate the land and air, water and food.

BIO

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.

Born.1984 in Maputo, Mozambique where he lives and works, 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.

- Mário Macilau ́s photography artwork focuses on political, social and cultural issues, linked to the radical transformations of the human kind in time and space. In his photography, he deals with the complex reality of human labor and the environmental conditions evolving over the times, using the images he captures as a form of visual confrontation that state a line of reflection to the reality.

In his projects, he uses a variety of techniques and photographic processes, making his work consistent with the subject matter and his artistic identity.

What makes his photographs recognizable is the capacity to invade the people ́s hearts and capture their feelings. The subjects come from different times, states of mind, surroundings, people and their stories that unfold over his eye, seeking what still remains unknown inside him.

 

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