Openly lesbian South Africa-based visual activist Zanele Muholi strives to revolutionize social awareness through her art. In Somnyama Ngonyama (“Hail the Dark Lioness” in her native Zulu), she overturns discrimination and defeatism to celebrate black women. Her chosen method is self-portraits adorned with household items, as if to suggest daily chores.

In Bester 1, Mayotte (2015), she appears in blackface with clothespins on her hair and ears, a grim parody of the mandatory ID cards carried by countless black women who, like her own mother, did menial housework in white homes during the apartheid years. With no formal education, these women proudly managed to raise strong children. Her photographs engage this dark history with courage and verve.

Zanele Muholi
Born in Umlazi, South Africa, in 1972, Zanele Muholi currently resides in Johannesburg where she works to raise awareness of problems faced by the LGBT community, and particularly black lesbians, in South Africa. Her best-known series, Faces and Phases (2006–2011), was shown to great acclaim at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. She received the International Center of Photography, New York’s ICP Infinity Award for Documentaries and Photojournalism in 2016.

ザネレ・ムホリ「Phindile I, Paris」2014年
Zanele Muholi, Phindile I, Paris, 2014
© Zanele/Stevenson/Yancey Richardson

ザネレ・ムホリ「Nolwazi II, Nuoro, Italy」2015年
Zanele Muholi, Nolwazi II, Nuoro, Italy, 2015
© Zanele/Stevenson/Yancey Richardson

ザネレ・ムホリ「Bakhambile, Parktown」2016年
Zanele Muholi, Bakhambile, Parktown 2016
© Zanele/Stevenson/Yancey Richardson


209-2, Nabeya-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, 604-8015
Keihan Line “Gion-shijo” station 3 min on foot from exit 4
Hankyu Line “Kawaramachi” station 1 min on foot from exit 1A


Entrance Fee:¥600 / Student ¥400

[Related program]

Masterclass Zanele Muholi: On Self-Representation.
4/16 Sun. 9:30-12:30 >Detail

In Conversation with Zanele Muholi with Claude Grunitzky
4/15 Sat. 13:00-14:30 >Detail

© 2017 Naoyuki Ogino

Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

[Video Archive]

In Conversation with Zanele Muholi with Claude Grunitzky