Macicio, the Kikuyu word for “spectacles,” is a fictional photographic narrative that imagines a set of characters based on a group of rebel fighters in Kenya who lead a revolt against the British in the 50s. The photo series is the work of contemporary Kenyan photographer, Osborne Macharia.
With a degree in architecture, the Nairobi-based photographer only carved out his career in commercial photography a couple of years ago, but since then he has already made a name for himself and established his own company, K63 Studio. Bouncing between advertising and personal projects, Macharia has developed a signature style characterised by creative lighting and storybook-type subjects that provoke the imagination.
Earlier in the year Macharia “set out to work on a series of fictional stories that were based on either historic imagery or contemporary imagination,” and Macicio is the first of this series. African fashion stylist and designer Kevo Abbra created the model’s customised costumes and spectacles to bring the fictional characters to life.
The photographer’s short prologue ascribes context to the photographic narrative:
“It tells a story of a special unit of Mau Mau fighters (guerilla freedom fighters during Kenya’s struggle for independence) that was made up of highly skilled opticians who created crude spectacles to identify and eliminate the enemy at night. Little is known about them until now.”
Commander-in-chief of the unit. Fighter since the age of nine. The different stars represent the lives he has saved.