“Photography saved my life. It’s the only thing that makes sense to me.”
LGBTI activist before becoming an artist, Zanele Muholi makes the voices, of those who have been silent for too long, heard in her photography. Born in 1972 in Durban, South Africa, she studied photography in Johannesburg. Her first exhibition, Visual Sexuality: Only Half the Picture, presented at the “Johannesburg Art Gallery” in 2004, already reflects this commitment. In 2009, she founded “Inkanyis”, a visual activism association serving the LGBTI community, whose motto is “Produce – Educate – Disseminate”. In 2016, she participated in the Rencontres d’Arles and in the exhibition The Other Continent, Artists, Women, Africans at the Le Havre Museum. After a first exhibition in Paris in 2012, she is one of the major figures of the Art / Africa exhibition in 2017 at the Louis Vuitton Foundation.
Zanele Muholi, Bester V, Mayotte, 2015; from Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Salut à toi, Lionne noire (delpire & co, 2021). © Zanele Muholi, courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg, and Yancey Richardson Gallery,New York
Somnyama Ngonyama - Hail the Dark Lioness