Zanele Muholi is a breathtaking photographer&visual activist born in a well known Durban township called Umlazi on the 19th July 1972, and she currently resides in Cape Town.Her amazing photography journey channels through black female sexualities and genders in Africa.She has worked as a human/lesbian rights activist with members in her community, raising pressing issues& stigmas facing black lesbian women living in South Africa today.(She stands firm as a black lesbian woman,not apologetic about it,embraces it&does not seek validation for it)All love for Zanele.

zanele-muholi-portrait             Zanele Muholi

Miss Muholi completed an Advanced Photography course at the Market Photo Workshop in Newtown Johannesburg in 2003.She held her first solo exhibition at the Johannesburg Art Gallery in 2004 which received heartwarming feedback. She studied her MFA in Documentary Media at Ryerson University in Toronto between 2007&2009.She produced a thesis that thoroughly maps the vivid visual history of black lesbian identity and politics in post-apartheid South Africa, two words BRILLIANCE&DEVOTION.

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In 2009, she received a Fanny Ann Eddy accolade from IRN-Africa for outstanding contributions to the study and advocacy of sexualities in Africa.Not forgetting to mention in 2009 Muholi was a Jean-Paul Blachère award-winner at the Rencontres de Bamako, African Photography Biennial, also winning the Casa Africa award for best female photographer living in Africa.Blessings on blessings & that has kept Zanele very much humble, grounded & focused, that on its own attracted me to her&her work. Two books have been published on her work: Only Half the Picture (2006) and Faces & Phases (2010). She has contributed her photography to many queer and art publications and academic journals.

Muholi co-founded the Forum for the Empowerment of Women, a black lesbian organisation based in Gauteng dedicated to providing a safe space for women loving women to meet. In 2009 she founded Inkanyiso, an organisation that deals with visual arts, activism, media and advocacy,true artistry.

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Miss Muholi’s work has been featured on numerous exhibitions including the 29th São Paulo Biennial, Brazil (2010); Figures and Fictions: Contemporary South African photography at the V&A Museum, London (2011),Face of Our Time II at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2011), Appropriated Landscapes at the Walther Collection, Neu-Ulm/Burlafingen, Germany (2011), and Lesbians Seeing Lesbians at the Leslie/Lohman Gallery in New York (2011).Zanele gives me courage that putting your mind to something, sticking to it, believing in it, adding a whole lot of consistency & mixing it up with your solid content will never lead you astray. Zanele Muholi is shortlisted for the 2015 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, for her publication Faces and Phases (Steidl/The Walther Collection), and her exhibition Zanele Muholi: Isibonelo/Evidence was open at Brooklyn Museum on 1 May 2015, and runs until November 2015. Muholi’s work is currently featured in the Wellcome Collection’s exhibition, The Institute of Sexology, in London (until September 2015).

Zanele-Muholi Work 8           Zanele-Muholi Work 9

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Beauty in my eyes is the work Zanele produces, breaking away from all the negativity about lesbian’s & telling you, the mass “This is who I am, I’m not about to change, I’m comfortable how I am , how I look & I’m not apologetic for being lesbian”. Zanele’s life is a story to all lesbians who are hiding, break away set yourself free, live life don’t hold yourself back.

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Facebook: Zanele Muholi.



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