Filipe Branquinho

Born in 1977, Maputo, Mozambique
Lives and works in Maputo, Mozambique

Filipe Branquinho grew up during the Mozambique civil war in an environment closely connected to the world of journalism and arts. He became particularly sensitive to images through contacts with some of the greatest names in Mozambican photography, such as, Ricardo Rangel, Kok Nam and José Cabral. Branquinho studied architecture first in Mozambique and then in Brazil where he began a process of self- taught exploration of photography and art.

Branquinho addresses issues of social content focused in the reality of Mozambique, especially the ways of life of the population, the mythologies and the urban dynamics. In his practice, he explores topics such as the difference of class, culture, politics, collective memory or the labour conditions. His style combines his architectural affiliation and his familiarity with the "school" of Mozambican photography, fusing genres as the portrait and landscape. The portraits of large format, in which the models pose for the photographer in their environments of work or residence, are a strong brand of his work. Those are at the same time individual portraits and the "survey" or the inventory of social spaces and architecture. He suggests personal stories; outlines a documentary map of a changing African world, but disappoints any expectation for exoticism. In 2013 he was selected as a finalist for the BES Photo award with the Showtime series. With the series Interior Landscapes (2011-2014) he won the Popcap'15 - International Prize for Contemporary African Photography.
The photographic project called "Occupations" began in early 2011. This set of pictures was held in Mozambican cities, in order to capture its spirit through architecture, landscape and its occupants. The focus of this work is a particular social group that represents a majority and that is present throughout the urban fabric: in large cities, in the suburbs, the coastal zone, in gated communities, etc. Each photograph is unique and wants to dignify the portrayed in the exercise of their occupation and how they communicate with the space it occupies. It is in this set of pictures that cities are elucidated in the light that surrounds them, in the colour palette and in the history of people who live there.