102 Mount Auburn St
Cambridge, MA 02138
This exhibition may be closed or postponed due to Covid-19. Please check The Cooper Gallery website for updates.
Our powerful exhibition Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail The Dark Lioness is touring to The Cooper Gallery at Harvard University.
In more than 80 self-portraits, celebrated visual activist Zanele Muholi (South African, b. 1972) uses their body as a canvas to confront the deeply personal politics of ‘race’ and representation in the visual archive.
Each black and white portrait asks critical questions about social (in)justice, human rights, and contested representations of the Black body.
- Zanele Muholi
Zanele Muholi is a visual activist and photographer based in Johannesburg. Muholi’s self-proclaimed mission is “to re-write a Black queer and trans visual history of South Africa for the world to know of our resistance and existence at the height of hate crimes in South Africa and beyond."
In 2002, they co-founded the Forum for Empowerment of Women (FEW), and in 2009 they established Inkanyiso, a platform for queer and visual (activist) media (www.inkanyiso.org). They continue to train and co-facilitate photography workshops for young persons in South African townships, and engage in a variety of community support programs locally and globally.
Banner image: Bester I, Mayotte, 2015
© Zanele Muholi. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town/Johannesburg and Yancey Richardson, New York.
Page images, from top left: 1) Somnyama Ngonyama II [detail], Oslo, 2015 © Zanele Muholi. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town/Johannesburg and Yancey Richardson, New York 2) Ntozakhe II, Parktown, 2016 © Zanele Muholi. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town/Johannesburg and Yancey Richardson, New York 3) Bayephi III [detail], Constitution Hill, Johannesburg, 2017 © Zanele Muholi. Courtesy of Autograph, London. 4) ZaKi, Kyoto, Japan, 2017 © Zanele Muholi. Courtesy Autograph, London.