In Osborne Macharia’s series, Magadi and Nyane, striking portraits of elderly women portrayed in a powerful light beg the viewer to reconsider the symbolism of power and our perception of the agents who wield it. Join Macharia in conversation with our curator, Miranda McKee to discuss his work, which comprises the exhibition Black to the Future | Reimagining Now.
Born and raised in Kenya, Osborne Macharia is a self-taught photographer who works in the genre of Afrofuturism. Originally coined in Mark Dery’s 1994 article “Black to the Future”, today’s Afrofuturism is no longer fixated on space travel, mysticism, and extraterrestrials, but instead focuses on reimagining the present - one with equal representation, equal opportunity, and a roadmap for tomorrow.
A combination of two independent works, entitled Magadi and Nyanye, Osborne Macharia’s exhibition, Black to the Future | Reimagining Now, introduces the viewer to seven transcendental women who lead the charge toward a better tomorrow.
The series Magadi describes three imagined women who are former female circumcisers. Having abandoned their former practice, they have built a fashion empire that serves as a refuge for young women escaping early marriage, offering education and skills for their future livelihood. Meanwhile, the series entitled Nyanye portrays three theoretical powerhouse leaders - elderly women who have held positions of political and economic influence. Through both projects, we are given an opportunity to reimagine the present and forecast a future in which women of any age, and people of any color, can be celebrated as empowered leaders.