Birthe Havmøller in Aarhus
Selfie by Birthe Havmøller, October 2021.
Recently, I have spent a moment with one of Zanele Muholi’s bold and strange self-portraits from her series ‘Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness’. She tells about this work that they are photographs where she is reclaiming her blackness. I am the “polar opposite”, embodying a Nordic-looking white body, reclaiming my lesbian identity by sharing the space Zanele and her alter ego in my local art museum.
Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness South-African visual activist’s bold self-portraits were published as a monograph with the same title by Aperture in 2018, and the publication has won the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation’s Best Photography Book Award in 2020.
Zanele’s work as a visual activist is informed by a history of colonization and a desire to rewrite the visual history of South American from the perspectives of the black, lesbian and trans communities. Her works are exhibited around the world.
The above larger-than-life, billboard size work made it to my local art museum in Aarhus where it is a part of ‘THIS IS NOT AFRICA – UNLEARN WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED’ at ARoS, Aarhus, Denmark. This exhibition sets out to challenge and disrupt the traditional and stereotypical Western view of African art. The group exhibition (which features works by 26 leading contemporary artists) runs through October 24, 2021.
Zanele Muholi’s Solo Exhibitions
‘Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness’ a solo exhibition with 80 stunning photographs is still touring the world and may come to your country in the future. Zanele Muholi’s new solo exhibition ZANELE MUHOLI – NIZE NANI opens in Cape Town, South Africa later this month:
ZANELE MUHOLI – NIZE NANI
October 28 – December 4, 2021
at Stevenson, Cape Town, South Africa.