A photographer a day: Zanele Muholi

Somnyama Ngonyama

Somnyama Ngonyama

Day 9 of the photographer a day series: Zanele Muholi

Most South Africans would have heard about Muholi at one point or another. Muholi is not only a photographer but what she terms a visual activist. She has done a number of projects exploring gay and lesbian identities in contemporary South Africa. This is how her work has been described: ‘through her artistic approach she hopes to document the journey of the African queer community as a record for future generations.’

This is her: 

“The portraits are at once a visual statement and an archive……marking, mapping, and preserving an often invisible community for posterity.” 

Her most recent work: somnyama ngonyama is a body of work focussing on blackness, specifically existing as a black body in the context of our country’s history. 

“As she presents black and white self-portraits taken while travelling in South Africa, America and Europe, Somnyama Ngonyama (meaning 'Hail, the Dark Lioness') confronts the politics of race and pigment in the photographic archive, while commenting on specific events in South Africa's political history, such as the Marikana massacre.”

All I can say is; Hail……Dark Lioness. 

You can find her work at the Stevenson Gallery (cpt/jhb) or everywhere on the internet.

Nkgopoleng MoloiComment