South Africa might have been the continent’s first country to legalise same-sex marriage, but its LGBT community remains the target of hate crimes. Assault is common, and so-called “corrective rape” continues.
Photographer and self-dubbed “visual activist” Zanele Muholi’s strikingly honest portraits of South Africa’s black lesbian and trans community take a closer look at the personal identity of her LGBTQ subjects and more broadly at gay politics. Challenging the nationwide stigma around being gay and the lingering idea that to be gay is “un-African” Zanele’s portraits bring the viewer eye to eye with the subject – and with their prejudice. Spanning hundreds of portraits, Zanele’s work exists as an archive of a community standing up to oppression.
Born in Durban in 1972, Zanele completed an advanced photo course at Market Photo Workshop, Johannesberg in 2003 before going on to hold her first solo show, Visual Sexuality: Only Half The Picture, a year later at Johannesburg Art Gallery. In 2009, the photographer completed her masters at Ryerson University, Toronto, which considered black lesbian identity and politics in post-Apartheid South Africa. That same year, Zanele founded Inkanyiso, a not-for-profit organisation focused visual activism. In 2015, Zanele’s work was shortlisted for the Deutsche Borshe Photography prize and displayed at The Photographer’s Gallery, London. To date, she has published four books and exhibited her work in countless solo shows.
Zanele’s work will be exhibited by the Yancey Richardson Gallery at The Photography Show 2017, presented by AIPAD, New York, March 30 — April 2.
- "The field is stretching itself bigger and bigger" - Jurgen Bey on design education and infinite possibility
- Peter Judson messes with depth perception in new personal project, Infection
- Friday Mixtape: Robbie Simon's mix for a party at 9am, with no end in sight
- Jack Davison captures the “progress of time” for Noon magazine
- Kyung Me’s detailed series tells the tale of a cat struggling with identity
- Dressed in Black: the resolute book covers of the Spektrum series
- Fashion photographer Miles Aldridge shoots the cast of Game of Thrones for Time Magazine
- The Netherlands’ royal crest changes gender for national women’s football team kit by Nike
- Peek inside erotic magazine Odiseo’s very NSFW tenth issue
- Rick and Morty’s Exquisite Corpse trailer features 22 animators including Simon Landrein and Bendik Kaltenborn
- Design director, Gail Bichler, on The New York Times Magazine typography exhibition
- Mark Shaw captures the glamour of haute couture runways from the 1950s