Schwules Museum* Berlin – Zanele Muholi Photograph

Press release

Zanele Muholi. Photography

at Schwules Museum* in Berlin
22 March to 9 June 2014
Curators: Birgit Bosold & Wolfgang Theis

The Schwules Museum* in collaboration with Amnesty International present an extensive exhibition of South African artist Zanele Muholi’s photographic works. You and your friends are cordially invited to:

a panel discussion at 6pm and

the opening of the exhibition at 8pm on 21 March 2014.

„Love is a Human Right – Sexualized Violence against Lesbians in South-Africa” – with Zanele Muholi, Sherlock Fortuin (human rights activist) and Selmin Çaliskan (Secretary General of Amnesty International Germany).
Moderation: Ines Pohl (Editor-in-Chief of taz)

An internationally recognized photographer, filmmaker and activist, Zanele Muholi deals with the experiences of the ‘black’ queer and especially lesbian community in South Africa and other African countries. In a repressive social and political climate which condemns queer ways of living and in which lesbians, gay men and trans* are faced with constant discrimination and persecution, her works represent acts of self-assertion and empowerment.

Her photographs intervene, are themselves deeds, political activism and resistance. She achieves a thematization of violence which does not portray individuals as victims. On the contrary, her photographs depict people who gaze confidently into the camera, make their own decisions and have voices of their own.

The exhibition presents and exclusive selection of Muholi’s body of work. Alongside an assortment of pieces chosen from amongst the artist’s early work (2003-2005), the Schwules Museum exhibits images from the series Beloved (2005-2010), Being (2007) and Faces and Phases (ongoing since 2006), as well as a selection of Muholi’s works on trans*persons and the video works Difficult Love (2010) and @24 (2011-2012).

Zanele Muholi – Activist, photographer and filmmaker

lives and works in Johannesburg, recipient of the LGBTI Art and Culture Award in 2005 and 2009, as well as the Freedom of Expression Award from Index on Censorship in 2013. At the biennial of African photography Les Rencontres de Bamako (Bamako Encounters), Muholi was commended as best female photographer with the Jean-Paul Blachère and Casa Africa Awards. She has exhibited in numerous solo and group shows, including Le Case d’Arte, Milan; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Stevenson, Cape Town; Documenta 13, Kassel; Kunsthalle Wien project space, Vienna; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo. In 2006, Zanele Muholi founded the online project Inkanyiso, “queer activism = queer media”.

Zanele Muholi at Williamstown College

Zanele Muholi - invitation

Photographer and visual activist Zanele Muholi will show new photographs and a new video produced in Durban as a part of a presetation exploring Black Frees (the generation born post-apartheid South Africa: known as Mandela’s great-grandchildren), and how each person expresses him/herself queerly at the time of troubling hate crimes in SA. The young adults she depicts are those born in 1990 – 1994, and openly gay/lesbian/trans with/in South African borders.

Black Queers – Born Frees in South Africa

Smith College, Neilson Library Browsing Room
February 4, 5pm
Free and open to the entire Five College Community

Queer and Trans Art-iculations: Collaborative Art for Social Change

Press release


Queer and Trans Art-iculations: Collaborative Art for Social Change

Zanele Muholi and Gabrielle Le Roux
[at WITS ART MUSEUM, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa]
Opening Wed 29 January 18h00 for 18h30.
Exhibition dates: January 30 – March 30, 2014

Wits Art Museum, in partnership with Wits Centre for Diversity Studies and Inkanyiso, is proud to announce the exhibition Queer and Trans Art-iculations: Collaborative Art for Social Change. This important project features the work of two visual activists: Zanele Muholi (Mo(u)rning) and Gabrielle Le Roux (Proudly African & Transgender and Proudly Trans in Turkey). The exhibition coincides with the official launch of the Wits Centre for Diversity Studies.

Homosexual and gender non-conforming people are discriminated against, victimised, penalized and criminalized. As insiders and concerned citizens within the LGBTI community who make art, Muholi and Le Roux employ art-activism as a resistance tool and a way to reveal how the LGBTI community exists within society. The works of both artists speak to the complexities, challenges, freedoms and dangers of living beyond the gender binary.

Recently, the Ugandan and Nigerian governments have enacted anti-homosexuality legislation which will put so many citizens in physical danger and deprive them of their freedom of expression and human rights. In Turkey there is a spiraling number of hate murders of Trans women in particular, for the majority of whom sex-work is the only available employment as a result of discrimination and social exclusion. South Africa is notorious for the rampant hate crimes that have claimed so many young lives especially black lesbians residing in the townships. These are some of the issues that the joint exhibition addresses. While Proudly African & Transgender and Proudly Trans in Turkey, are created in collaboration with trans and intersex activists from southern and East Africa, and Turkey, Mo(u)rning engages with the experiences of black lesbians and queer people particularly in South Africa.

For the duration of the exhibition, facilitators who can speak to the issues represented in the work from lived experience will be in attendance to assist with queries and provide impromptu guided tours of the work, free of charge. WAM has also created an interactive space for visitors to respond to the exhibition and share their experiences and thoughts.

Programming and special events:

Artist TALKABOUT with Gabrielle Le Roux, 8 February 12h00
Family TALKABOUT with Leigh Blanckenberg, 15 February 12h00
Artist TALKABOUT with Zanele Muholi, 22 February 12h00
Exhibition facilitators will be available Wed-Sun 10h00-16h00

Opening Night:

Keynote speech by Pregs Govender, Deputy Chair of the South African Human Rights Commission.
Performance by Zanele Muholi on the opening night to begin at 19h00.

For more information, please contact Wits Art Museum on or call 011 717 1378

Montreuil Paris – 2nd Elles résistent Festival


Elles résistent

France: The program of the 2nd Elles résistent – contre les violences masculines faites aux femmes festival is online now. The second edition or this vibrant radical feminist and lesbian festival takes place on November 24 – 30 2013 at La parole errante, 9, rue Francois Debergue, Montreuil (Paris) France. The festival is the one and only Parisian lesbian and feminist culture festival which features performances, lectures, workshops, music events and visual arts.

The Visual Arts Exhibition

The artists of the visual arts group exhibition of Elle Résistant are:
Anne Yoro
Cheryl Ann Bolden – visual art
Baubo – Street Art // Masks
Anne Claire Bethmont – paintings
Julie Poupé – photographs // found photos
Helen Cancalon – collages
Julie Garcia – collager, photographs, video installations
Zanele Muholi – visual activist, photographer and filmmaker // two videos
Mary Sabal Leco – painter
Pauline Ngouala – painter
Michèle Larrouy – visual artist
Vera Dias – visual artist
Venus Vener – visual artist
X-Tin – painter

Amsterdam – Fo(u)nd by Zanele Muholi

South African photographer Zanele Muholi will be present at the Prince Claus Fund Gallery on 6 September 2013 for the opening of her exhibition fo(u)nd. Muholi will participate in a conversation about her work with Board Member of the Prince Claus Fund and Human Rights Watch LGBT Rights Advocacy Director Boris Dittrich.

Photo by Zanele Muholi
LiTer II from the Being series (2012) by Zanele Muholi

Zanele Muholi’s photographs are a direct response to the epidemic of ‘curative rapes’ and murders of black lesbians in South Africa today.

As a self-described ‘visual activist’, Muholi seeks to challenge the status quo with intimate portraits of the queer South African experience. The exhibition fo(u)nd features a selection of Muholi’s works from Faces and Phases, Beulahs and Being (2006-present), among others.

Muholi is the recipient of numerous awards, including: the Index on Censorship award for Freedom of Expression (2013), London; the LGBTI Recognition Award for the Best Photographer (2012), Johannesburg; the Casa Africa Award for Best Female Photographer (2009), Bamako; and the Fanny Ann Eddy Accolade from IRN-Africa (2009), New York. Muholi’s photographs have been exhibited around the world, most significantly at the South African Pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale, Italy and in 2012 at dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, Germany. In 2009, Muholi founded the queer media collective Inkanyiso ().

Boris Dittrich is Board Member of the Prince Claus Fund and Advocacy Director for the LGBT Rights Programme at Human Rights Watch.

fo(u)nd by Zanele Muholi

Exhibition Opening: Zanele Muholi in Conversation with Boris Dittrich
17:30 Friday, 6 September 2013
Prince Claus Fund Gallery
Herengracht 603
1017 CE Amsterdam

Entrance is free, but please register in advance via Eventbrite
fo(u)nd will be on view in the Prince Claus Fund Gallery through 22 November 2013.


Zanele Muholi dedicates the exhibition fo(u)nd to the memory of Duduzile Zozo, a 26-year-old black lesbian who was raped and murdered. Her body was found at her neighbour’s house in Thokoza township, Johannesburg in June 2013.