Feminists In Art: Zanele Muholi

Born 1972 in Umlazi, Durban, Zanele Muholi is a photographer working hard to fight the bloody images associated with black lesbians in South Africa.

“Every individual in my photographs has her own or his own story to tell. But sadly we come from spaces in which most black people never had that opportunity,” Muholi explained in an interview with The New Statesman. “I’m not [here] to speak for the people, but to share and change the portrayal of black bodies… It’s about time that we bring positive imagery of us in space where we are there, but hardly seen.”


“People mustn’t use education or academia to come up with a different form of colonising people, African people specifically. I think it’s very important for people to state their intentions clearly. We come from a system where we never question – decades of silence – which is why people take advantage of such situations, because they know people are poor, desperate, and might not have information. Some people regretted giving up their lives, their grandmothers’ lives etcetera. Out of desperation, you give your soul away.” She pauses. “No, I cannot give up myself and my soul simply because I need some exposure. Because at the end of the day, I need to remember me.”


Now Showing: Carnegie International

Zanele’s blog is an forum for people in Zanele’s community to speak about issues, document significant events (funerals, drag shows) and share their lives.

Book: Only Half The Picture

Watch: Difficult Love

Thank you Pamela Allara