With his Moments of Transition series, photographer Mário Macilau aims to capture the search for identity of contemporary young Mozambicans.
The photographs are all taken on Sundays, when the urban youth have the time and the opportunity to dress how they like and act as they wish, spending a relaxed day together. Their clothing style is an ever-changing mixture of urban fashion and traditional clothing, in a never-ending competition where those who want to make an impression needing to prove their stylishness anew every time. With their choice of clothing and attitude, the youngsters of Maputo do not simply want to impress others; their style enables them to ensure a place in the group, creating an individual identity and to conveying it to the world. This youth movement is greatly influenced by western fashion and lifestyle. Students that return to Mozambique from Europe bring new influences from the fashion industry, and the flourishing second-hand market ensures an increasing demand for European clothing. However, Macilau’s visual language also pays tribute to the heyday of African studio photography in the mid-20th century, creating a connection to a generation that, just like the current African youth, laid claim to a great future and consequently adopted a style that matched these expectations: the generation of the 1960s and 1970s, who celebrated their liberation from colonialism.