Zanele Muholi’s Visual Activism is Striking

Visual activism isn’t something new, but South African photographer, Zanele Muholi, adds an inspiring dimension to it. Balancing fine art with documentary photography, Muholi captures the experiences of the black LGBTQIA community in Africa.

“My practice as a visual activist looks at black resistance—existence as well as insistence,” she shared with aperture. “Most of the work I have done over the years focuses exclusively on black LGBTQIA and gender-nonconforming individuals making sure we exist in the visual archive.”

“The key question that I take to bed with me is: what is my responsibility as a living being—as a South African citizen reading continually about racism, xenophobia, and hate crimes in the mainstream media? This is what keeps me awake at night.”

A lot of her artistic work focuses on self-portraits, explaining that: “I wanted to use my own face so that people will always remember just how important our black faces are when confronted by them—for this blackface to be recognized as belonging to a sensible, thinking being in their own right.”

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2018.11.07: ##archived Photo @somnyamangonyama

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