Vancouver-based, Kenyan-born Afrofuturist Osborne Macharia re-imagines a new Africa through his unique brand of Afrofuturism. Not just an attempt at historical revisionism, Macharia champions and draws attention to endemic issues - from gender abuse to FGM to dwarfism to elderly neglect - 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.
For SCOPE MIAMI 2022, we are thrilled to present three distinct series from Osborne Macharia: Nyanye, Remember the Rude Boy, and Magadi.
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 ageing 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.
In his series “Remember the Rude Boy,” Macharia celebrates the overlooked and unsung tailors from the Kibera slums and their impact on the fashion industry across Kenya and beyond. By upcycling thrift stores and second hand hawker finds, these innovators have created a style that perseveres and makes waves beyond their small shops - an attempt to draw attention to the thousands of tailors and artisans working daily to bring beauty to an often bleak environment by whatever means available.
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.
Macharia has been featured in the New York Times, BBC, CNN, Apollo Magazine, The Standard, Vogue Italia, the Amazon Prime Show "Harlem," Marvel's Black Panther, and many more. His works are also in numerous private and public collections around the world, including the Pigozzi Collection, the Smithsonian Museum of African Art (USA), the Tropen Museum (Netherlands), and the ZEITZ MOCAA (South Africa) among others.