Art, News


Visual activist Zanele Muholi presents an arresting depiction of the black LGBTQI community
Opening on Friday 7 July, 8pm with a poetry recital by Phila Mbanjwa and performance by Annalyzer

8 July – 15 October 2017

This summer, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam mounts the debut museum solo in the Netherlands of the South African photographer and visual activist Zanele Muholi (1972, Umlazi, Durban). From an ‘insider position’, Muholi photographs the black lesbian and transgender community in South Africa. Starting with her very first work, Only Half the Picture (2006), her arresting, powerful and sometimes witty images have focused eyes on a community that, while it has been constitutionally protected since 1996, remains at risk of horrendous abuse, discrimination and ‘curative’ rape. Muholi: “We’ve lost so many people to hate crimes… you never know if you’ll see someone again the next day.”

Making its Dutch premiere is Muholi’s latest series Somnyama Ngonyama (Hail the Dark Lioness, 2015 to the present). A series of self-portraits, this body of work marks a radical new step in her oeuvre. Often experimenting with dramatic poses and lighting, Zanele turns the camera on herself, capturing the multiple roles that she assumes as a black lesbian woman. Through the use of highly contrasting black and white tonal values, Muholi exaggerates her skin tone to emphasize her ‘blackness’. Click here for the complete version of the first press release.

Opening Friday 7 July
During the opening on Friday 7 July, there will be a performance by musician, vocalist and visual activist Annalyzer. Writer Phila Mbanjwa will give a poetry recital.
Programme (in the Audi Gallery):
20.00 : commencement
20.15 : word of welcome by director Beatrix Ruf
20.30 : poetry performance by Phila Mbanjwa
20.30 : performance by Annalyzer
 20.40 : exhibition opens

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