Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness
"My practice as a visual activist looks mainly at black resistance, existence as well as insistence" – Zanele Muholi
Autograph's newspaper features images from Zanele Muholi's ongoing series Somnyama Ngonyama, alongside 20 texts exploring and responding to this powerful work. In more than 70 photographs, visual activist Zanele Muholi (South African, b. 1972) uses their body as a canvas to confront the politics of race and representation in the visual archive.
In Somnyama Ngonyama, which translates to ‘Hail The Dark Lioness’ in isiZulu, Muholi playfully employs the conventions of classical painting, fashion photography, and the familiar tropes of ethnographic imagery to rearticulate contemporary identity politics. Gazing defiantly at the camera, Muholi challenges viewers’ perceptions while firmly asserting their cultural identity on their own terms.
Published to accompany the exhibition Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness.
Images by Zanele Muholi. Texts include an conversation between Muholi and Curator Renée Mussai, and further contributions by Ajamu, Nana Adusei-Poku, Karen Alexander, Ama Josephine Budge, Christine Eyene, Tamar Garb, Mapula Lehong, Napo ‘Popo’ Masheane, Mohale Mashigo, Irene Fubara-Manuel, Bongani Madondo, Jackie Mondi, Hlonipha Mokoena, Renée Mussai, Pumelela Nqelenga, Oluremi C. Onabanjo, Ingrid Pollard, Skye Skyetshookii, Ruti Talmor and Robert Taylor. Edited by Renée Mussai, Senior Curator and Head of Archive and Research at Autograph.
Dimensions: 41x 26.5cm
Published as part of the touring exhibition Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness, which debuted at Autograph, London in 2016.
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