"Osborne Macharia: Stories of the Future Past" Magadi Montague Contemporary © Osborne Macharia

‘Osborne Macharia: Stories of the Future Past’

“Osborne Macharia: Stories of the Future Past” showcases two distinct and breathtaking series – “Magadi” and “Nyanye” – from Vancouver-based, Kenyan-born Afrofuturist Osborne Macharia. 

An alternative reality to erase stereotypes

 "Osborne Macharia: Stories of the Future Past" Magadi Montague Contemporary   © Osborne Macharia contemporary
“Osborne Macharia: Stories of the Future Past” Magadi Montague Contemporary © Osborne Macharia contemporary

Macharia’s unique brand of Afrofuturism suggests not just an attempt at historical revisionism, but a way to draw attention to issues – from gender abuse to FGM to dwarfism to elderly care – that too often fall out of the limelight. His extraordinary countermove is evidenced in his dreamlike images, where viewers are transported to an alternate realm; where the subject at hand is conveyed without distraction, shedding preconceived notions of what is possible and what is fantasy. 

In his series “Nyanye,” which translates to a non-pejorative slang for “an old woman” in Swahili, Macharia’s metaphorical literacy flexes its muscles to flip our assumptions of aging to showcase the style and swagger of our elders. Set under the stunning light of an Hargeisa sunset, each protagonist represents an elderly woman who held various positions of power in her career – now settling into a life of leisure and reclusive adventure as part of the League of Extraordinary Grannies. 

Photos by @sasithon.pooviriyakul,  Art by @osborne_macharia brought to you by @montaguecontemporary
Photos by @sasithon.pooviriyakul, Art by @osborne_macharia brought to you by @montaguecontemporary

Similarly, although calling attention to issues such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage, is Macharia’s breathtaking “Magadi” series. It features an Afrofuturistic presentation of a group of retired female circumcisers (FGM aides) who have abandoned their careers to become ethical fashionista’s in the hot and arid plains of Magadi, Kenya. They rescue young brides who are escaping child marriage and nurture their fashion sense while teaching them practical skills for survival.

Photos by @sasithon.pooviriyakul, Art by @osborne_macharia brought to you by @montaguecontemporary
Photos by @sasithon.pooviriyakul, Art by @osborne_macharia brought to you by @montaguecontemporary

About Osborne Macharia

Osborne is a self-taught Commercial Photographer and Visual Artist bor and raised in Nairobi, Kenya and currently living in Vancouver, Canada. His style of photography falls within the genre of Afrofuturism, governed by two key elements – Cultural Identity and Fiction. Through storytelling and social inclusion, it creates a powerful platform to convey important messages on topics such as Equality, Inclusion, Representation, Gender Abuse, Ivory poaching, FGM, Albinism, Dwarfism, Conservation and Elderly Care.

 Osborne Macharia  © Osborne Macharia
Osborne Macharia © Osborne Macharia
Osborne Macharia: Stories of the Future Past
Montague Contemporary
From 31 July to 21 August
526 W 26th St #601, New York, NY 10001
The United States of America

Share on:

About the author

Oceane Kinhouande

After graduating with a law degree from the University Panthéon-Assas Paris II, I joined ICART Paris to pursue an MBA in International Art Market. I am passionate about contemporary art from Africa and Afro-descendant cultures. I believe it is vital and important that contemporary art from Africa informs us about the multiplicity and nuances of its realities. It is also very important to me that this artistic expression be a vector of African and Afro-descendant history, identity and innovation.

You might also like