the commission was on display at autograph from 14 july - 28 october 2017.
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Autograph commissioned four new self-portraits by Zanele Muholi for the exhibition to commemorate the struggle for equality, freedom of movement and women’s rights in South Africa and beyond.
These can be seen in our exhibition Somnyama Ngonyama: Hail, The Dark Lioness.
The exhibition and new commission highlights the 1956 Women’s March on Pretoria. A pivotal moment in South Africa’s history, thousands of women from different cultural backgrounds united to demonstrate defiantly against repressive Apartheid pass laws, which severely restricted their movements.
Zanele Muholi was born in 1972 in Umlazi, Durban, and lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Muholi sees their practice as visual activism to effect social change. Over the past decade, they have become known globally with Faces and Phases, a pioneering portrait photography of South Africa’s LBTQI communities.
Muholi co-founded the Forum of Empowerment of Women (FEW) in 2002, and founded Inkanyiso www.inkanyiso.org, in 2009 as a forum for queer visual activist media.
Muholi studied Advanced Photography at the Market Photo Workshop in Newtown, Johannesburg, and holds an MFA in Documentary Media from Ryerson University, Toronto. They are an Honorary Professor at the University of the Arts Bremen, and has been the recipient of the prestigious Prince Claus Award and the Carnegie Fine Prize.Read More
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Banner images: 1) Zanele Muholi, Zaki, Kyoto, 2017. 2) Zanele Muholi, Bayephi I, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2017. 3) Zanele Muholi, Bayephi II Johannesburg, South Africa, 2017. 4) Zanele Muholi, Bayephi III, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2017.
Page images, from left: 1) Zanele Muholi, Somnyama Ngonyama II [detail],Oslo, 2015. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town/Johannesburg and Yancey Richardson, New York. 2) Zanele Muholi, Sebenzile, [detail], Parktown, 2016.
Autograph is a place to see things differently. Since 1988, we have championed photography that explores issues of race, identity, representation, human rights and social justice, sharing how photographs reflect lived experiences and shape our understanding of ourselves and others.Donate Join our mailing list