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Zanele Muholi in "Johannesburg"

Joyful and courageous, Zanele Muholi photographs Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex individuals in South Africa, driven by an intense dedication to increasing the visibility of one of the country’s most vulnerable communities. The artist shares the personal motivations behind an ongoing self-portrait series that allows them to own their voice, identity, and history as a queer Zulu person. From a portrait session in the Johannesburg townships to a gallery opening in Cape Town, Muholi photographs LGBTI individuals, in the hopes of eradicating the stigma and violence that has pervaded queer communities in South Africa. Muholi and the participants in their work stake out their places in the world and demand that their voices be heard.

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Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Zanele Muholi

Zanele Muholi was born in Umlazi, a township southwest of Durban, South Africa, in 1972. From self-portraiture to photographs of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people living in South Africa, Muholi creates work that asserts the presence of South Africa’s historically marginalized and discriminated LGBTI community. Both joyful and courageous, Muholi self-identifies as a visual activist, driven by a dedication to owning their voice, identity, and history and providing space for others in their community to do the same.

“I’m boiling inside. Like any other great man. I want to be counted in history. I want to produce that history. I want to basically say, this is me.”

Zanele Mujoli