Terms and Conditions
Welcome to TONGUES, provided by Voodoo Voodoo Ltd (“we”, “us”, “our”). Access to and use of this website (“TONGUES”) is provided by us on the basis of a number of important terms and conditions, which are set out in full below.
You should carefully read these terms and conditions (“terms”). When you use TONGUES, you will be legally bound by these terms, which will take effect from your first use of TONGUES. If you do not agree to be legally bound by these terms, then you should not use TONGUES>.
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Changes to Terms
We are continually seeking to update and improve TONGUES. As a result, we may make changes to TONGUES, including these terms, at any time. You will need to review these terms regularly so that you are aware of any changes we have made. You will be legally bound by the updated or amended terms from the first time that you use TONGUES after we post the changes on-line.
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Third party websites
We do not monitor the content of third party websites and any link provided on TONGUES is solely for your convenience. We cannot therefore accept any responsibility for any third party website. You are responsible for checking and complying with the terms and privacy policies applicable to your use of any third party website.
The extent of our responsibility to you has been determined in the context of the following:
access to TONGUES is provided to you free of charge;
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Whilst we will endeavour to ensure that TONGUES is available to you and that content for which we are responsible is accurate, we cannot make any legal commitment or representation to you that TONGUES will be available at any particular time or that it or any TONGUES content will be of any particular quality or fit for any particular purpose. However, we will exercise reasonable skill and care in providing any service to you.
We can accept no liability to you for any of the following types of loss (should you suffer any of them as a result of your use of TONGUES):
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any business loss you may suffer, including loss of revenue, profits or anticipated savings (whether those losses are the direct or indirect result of our default);
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© TONGUES — An initiative by Voodoo Voodoo Ltd


Privacy & Cookies Policy
The tongues.cc website is operated by Voodoo Voodoo Ltd (‘TONGUES’).
This privacy policy applies to TONGUES.
We want you to enjoy our website and services secure in the knowledge that we have implemented fair information practices to protect your privacy. By visiting our website, you are accepting the practices described in our privacy policy, including our use of cookies and similar online tracking technologies. If you do not agree to the terms of this privacy policy, please do not use the website.
TONGUES may change this policy from time to time by updating this page and you should regularly check to ensure that you are happy with any changes. This policy was last updated on 11 February 2020.
The policy outlines:
1. General principle
2. How we collect information
3. Types of information we may collect
4. How we use your information
5. How we protect the information we collect
6. Access to your personal information
7. How to contact us
1. General principle
There are two types of information we may collect from you when you use the website: non-personally identifiable information and personally identifiable information. Non-personally identifiable information does not individually identify you, but it may include tracking and usage information about your general location, demographics, use of the website and the internet. Personally identifiable information is information that you voluntarily provide when you set up a user account, subscribe to a newsletter, or query that can individually identify you and may include your name and email address etc.
We do not link non-personally identifiable information to your personally identifiable information.
We do not share either type of information unless required to run the website and services (see third-party services below). We will never sell either type of information.
This privacy policy does not apply to any information collected outside of the website, including offline or through other means (for example, via telephone or through email), unless otherwise stated below or at the time of collection.
2. How we collect information
We collect information when you:
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— Answer a reader survey
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Links to other websites, social media platforms
Our website may contain links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave our website, you should note that we do not have any control over the information that is collected and shared about you. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.
You may interact with content on our website through social media platforms we use such as Facebook by using their social features. Examples of social features include ‘liking’ or ‘sharing’ our content. We encourage you to review their policies before using their tools, which can be found at their respective websites. If you’d prefer that these social media platforms do not collect information about the content you share and use, we suggest that you don’t use their tools.
3. Types of information we may collect
The types of information we may collect includes:
— Account information (email address)
— Information you provide through a TONGUES reader survey which might include age range, education level etc
TONGUES is not responsible for any information you have provided in public areas of our website or on our social media platforms, which may then be viewed by other users.
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The information we collect may be used to help us:
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— Promote services to you including advising you of updates or changes to our website and services
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Disclosure to third-party services
As part of providing our website and services to you we use a limited number of third-party services that perform functions on our behalf, including but not limited to website hosting, server monitoring, tracking user behaviour, marketing automation services, and customer service.
We have no control over, and assume no responsibility for, the conduct, practices or privacy policies of these third-party services and encourage you to read the policies of the services we use below:
TONGUES uses the MailerLite marketing automation service to issue newsletters. Find out more about MailerLite’s Privacy Policy and Terms.
When you subscribe to our email newsletters
By clicking ‘Subscribe’ you agree to the following: 
We will use the email address you provide to send you a weekly or monthly email. We also send occasional updates and, no more than once a year, reader surveys. 
The email address/es you provide will be transferred to our external marketing automation service ‘MailerLite’ for processing in accordance with their Privacy Policy and Terms. We use MailerLite to issue our newsletters. We have no control over, and assume no responsibility for, the conduct, practices or privacy policies of MailerLite
You can change your mind at any time by clicking the ‘unsubscribe link’ in the footer of emails you receive from us, or by contacting us at [email protected]. If you want to review and correct the personal information we have about you, you can click on ‘update preferences’ in the footer of emails you receive from us, or by contacting us at [email protected].
5. How we protect the information we collect
We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. We have taken reasonable measures to protect information about you from loss, theft, misuse or unauthorised access, disclosure, alteration and destruction. No physical or electronic security system is impenetrable however and you should take your own precautions to protect the security of any personally identifiable information you transmit. We cannot guarantee that the personal information you supply will not be intercepted while transmitted to us or third-party service providers. 
Sharing your personal information
We will not disclose your personal information except; (1) as described by this Privacy Policy (2) after obtaining your permission to a specific use or disclosure or (3) if we are required do so by a valid legal process or government request (such as a court order, a search warrant, a subpoena, a civil discovery request, or a statutory requirement). We will retain your information for as long as needed in light of the purposes for which it was obtained or to comply with our legal obligations and enforce our agreements. 
Data transfer
This website is published in the United Kingdom. If you are located in a country outside of these countries and voluntarily submit personally identifiable information to us, you should be aware that information about you will be transferred to this countries. We attempt to comply with local data protection laws to the extent that they may apply to TONGUES. 
Age of consent
Our website is not directed at children under the age of 18 and we do not knowingly collect or maintain information from those we know are younger than 18. If you are younger than 18, you should not submit or post any personally identifiable information to our website. By using the Service, you represent that you are at least 18 years of age.
6. Access to your personal information
You may request a copy of the personal information we hold about you by submitting a written request to [email protected]. We may only implement requests with respect to the personal information associated with the particular email address you use to send us the request. We will try and respond to your request as soon as reasonably practical. When you receive the information, if you think any of it is wrong or out of date, you can ask us to change or delete it for you. 
We take all reasonable steps to ensure the information held is accurate, up-to-date, complete, relevant and not misleading. 
7. Contact us
If you have any questions about our privacy policy or our use of your information, please contact us at [email protected].

Mário Macilau

September 30 / 2021


Mário Macilau is a multidisciplinary Mozambican artist based in Maputo. His large multi-dimensional portraits and landscapes photographs capture the complex realities of human labour, relocation, and environmental conditions.


Q >What motivated you to start documenting lives with your camera? What themes do you feel compelled to explore?

A >I am motivated by people and their hidden cultural identity. I consider my photographic practice to be a visual investigation, taking a critical view on identity, political issues, and environmental conditions. These three broad themes come into focus through their impact on socially isolated groups, groups who need to retrieve their voices and to cast light on these issues as they affect their own particular experience.

I attempt to explore the way in which conditions of labour, cultural heritage and the environment alter over time. I have always concerned myself specifically with how these conditions are articulated through the environment in which people live, and the relationship that people have to that environment. How do humans sustain themselves and adapt to shifting environments, when their labour, their lives, and by extension, their relationships to one another are all affected by that environment? This results in short-, and at times long-, term projects to present the ongoing positions facing these communities.

Q >Tell us about moments in your life that helped define or change your identity.

A >I can’t specifically precise a single moment or period but certainly I am also trying to do something as [a] human, to improve my life and also the life of those around me. I am not referring to material possession but, yes, about spirituality and the practice of human values and ethics as essence. I had so many opportunities to learn by making mistakes or not. I started to travel at an early age and that helped me also to not limit myself in one culture as the only correct way of living.

Q >Could you give us an overview of your project ‘Growing in Darkness’. What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned by doing it?

A >Some years ago, I started working with street children in Mozambique, spending time with them in order to gain a deeper understanding of their reality. Against the common sense that separates this group of people from the ‘normal’ ones, my aim was to go where everyone advised me not to go. I was determined to reach the site that seemed to frighten so many. I entered their private spaces: bridges and abandoned buildings where they live and sleep, that is, where they camp. These places were very dark, damp and dangerous.

In these makeshift places, there are no facilities, light, water, or any other form of domestic support. Initially, I visited these youth without my camera. These simple encounters allowed this group of children to trust me, and it also allowed me to trust them. Photography can be like a border; not a physical one, rather a mental and emotional one. Holding a camera can install a border between human hearts because, as a photographer, one can think that we can enter someone’s house and start to register someone’s house, take photographs of their secrets and privacy, without actually having even talked to the person.

It is from this position of a friend that I managed to capture their existence: the adversity of their environments, the endurance of their young but possibly condemned bodies, and their resilience that, daily, defies the inhumanity of their hardships.

The photographs do not necessarily aim to represent these children. Instead, my work attempts to give them a voice, a stage: to shine a light on their fleeting and fragile lives. These photographs offer the children a space of relief, whereby the children can compose them, play with their image and reflect on their own appearance.

Q >How did your ‘Faith Series’ come about, and what is the main message you wish to send through this series?

A >Faith documents the practice of animism in contemporary Mozambique. From traditional religions, members believe in the existence of individual spirits that inhabit natural objects and phenomena, whereby the spirits of ancestors can affect the lives of the living. Through their practices, these traditional religions preserve ancient cultures of Mozambican tradition. The religious practices involve teachings, traditional medicine, healing methods, rites of passage for young men and women, and how to behave towards the members of the community. It reflects local and yet diverse conceptions of God and the cosmos.

What is at stake in this photographic engagement with the contradictory phenomenon of faith is less a question of faith, and more a matter of doing, of taking action. While the emergence of the foreign and currently dominant religions converted the religious orientation of the majority of the people of Mozambique, traditional religious beliefs seem to occupy an important part within the everyday life of Mozambique today. Perhaps such focuses on the traditional values of religion are a form of consultation of life. It is a simulation of life, and the photographs of the Faith series invite us to step into life by other means.

Q >What is your favourite image from the ‘Faith Series’, and why is it your favourite?

A >My working process is first of all based on field research. I try as much as I can to take a qualitative method of research concerned with understanding and interpreting the social interactions of groups of people or communities, and society. I usually visit those places, walking around, observing and interacting with local people in their natural settings. When I start shooting, I know what I am doing and I do not take multiple shots, one or two are enough for the result expectation. I know well my preferred light and compositions. This also applies to manipulation — I am not good at that; I do everything on camera.

This is to say that I am the father of all fruits. I do not separate them in a single way. I like the entire set and they are all related for story composition. I have certain pieces that are more successful than others, mostly in the art market audience. The photo I am talking about reflects a story of two young boys playing on a beach in Mozambique, while walking around with caught fish for sale. Child labour is common within the fishing sector, and even more so in informal and small-scale fisheries in Mozambique. The livelihood of the country depends greatly on fisheries, which supports a large part of the local and expatriate population. This photo forms part of my long-term series, FAITH, which focuses on traditional religious practices and the existing relationship between these practices and the natural environment in which they are practiced.

Q >Tell us about life in Maputo: what do you love most about living in the city; what do you like the least about it?

A >I grew up in Township and today I spend time between the city and Township. It’s still very confusing for me what we call “city” and “non-city” in Mozambique. It’s easy to understand if we look at this first by the geographical location of each term, but oppositely in Mozambique we call it “City” where you have modern buildings and the concentration of all infrastructures. It’s all about how economic processes shape conceptions of a city. So, I do like to get down from the building I live in today and to spend time where I was born and raised. There are a lot of stories to live, to hear and a lot to learn and to share. This helps me to understand how culture and economy intertwine in the city by underwriting social structures and culture and how the new generation can preserve those values.

Q >Where will your photography take you next?

A >Well. Who knows? Life is full of surprises and I always have hope but rather than that at full time, I am concerned about investing my time and energy for what I love to do. I work very hard but at the same time I enjoy life a lot, so for me what is important is now. If I do things well now, I will be so happy now and my future will be unexpectedly bright. I have dreams of doing things but I do take my time. So during my travelling experiences, I have learnt that artists can have an impact in their home countries by contributing to art education and culture development. When choosing to build my studio in a township in Maputo, I decided to focus on the potential of creating a multidisciplinary creative space for my own artwork production, as well as the impact the studio could have through art education and outreach projects. This naturally progressed to include an International Artist-in-Residence programme with the aim of encouraging collaboration between emerging visual international artists as well as with the local community as a stable platform for exchange and a bridge to creativity within local or isolated communities. 

Today, I am still in battle to make it work well. The residencies offer the possibility, on one hand, for artists to further explore their practice, and on the other, to confront the limitations previously faced in their local environment.


Mário Macilau (b. 1984, Mozambique) lives and works in Maputo. He is a multi-disciplinary artist most known for his photography. Selected exhibitions include: Songs of the Present (Musée de la Photographie de Saint Louis, Senegal, 2018); Afrique Capitales (La Villette, Paris, 2017); Pavilion of the Holy See, 56th Venice Biennale (2015); Making Africa (Vitra Museum, Weil am Rhein, 2015); Discovery Show (Fotofestiwal Łódź, Poland, 2015); (Pangaea: Art from Africa and Latin America, Saatchi Gallery, London, 2014); The African Art Auction, Bonhams, London (2013); Recontres Picha (Biennale de Lubumbashi, 2013). Macilau has been shortlisted for the 2019 Mast Award and was a finalist of the Unicef Photo of the Year in 2009, the Greenpeace Photo Award 2016. His work is in the permanent collection of the Pompidou Centre.


Images courtesy of the artist © Mário Macilau

Growing In Darkness Series (Dreaming of Sunset), 2012

Growing In Darkness Series (Stairs of Shadows), 2012

Growing In Darkness Series (Enjoyment), 2012

Growing In Darkness Series (Rainy Days), 2012

Growing In Darkness Series (At the Entrance), 2012

Growing In Darkness Series (Long Standing), 2012

Growing In Darkness Series (A Cowboy), 2012

Growing In Darkness Series (Dreamer), 2012

Growing In Darkness Series (The Shower), 2012

Growing In Darkness Series (Wrapped in Sheets), 2012

Growing In Darkness Series (A Fish Story), 2012

Faith Series (God bless my child and send him safely in to this world), 2015

Faith Series, 2015

Faith Series, 2015

Faith Series, 2015

Faith Series, 2015

Faith Series, 2015

Faith Series, 2015

Faith Series, 2015

Faith Series, 2015

Faith Series, 2015