Art

South African visual activist Zanele Muholi confronts the history of race in her first solo exhibition

August 30, 2017
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Through more than 60 photographs, South African visual activist Zanele Muholi’s first solo exhibition in London is a vast confrontation of the politics and history of race and representation. The ongoing self-portrait series, Somnyama Ngonyama, was shot throughout Europe, North America and Africa and Muholi’s “psychologically charged” portraits present subtlety disturbing images of the black female body juxtaposed against commonplace objects. The seemingly innocuous items become chokeholds, heavy weights, and chains. A profound metaphor for the pain and marginalization of that pain black people, specifically black women, experience in white dominated society.

“Black bodies are still sidelined in different spaces and various ways. Somnyama Ngonyama will react to that,” Muholi told Dazed.

In you’re in the UK, come out to see Zanele Muholi’s first solo exhibition at Shoreditch’s Autograph ABP now until Oct. 28.

© Zanele Muholi. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town/Johannesburg and Yancey Richardson, New York

© Zanele Muholi. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town/Johannesburg and Yancey Richardson, New York

© Zanele Muholi. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town/Johannesburg and Yancey Richardson, New York

© Zanele Muholi. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town/Johannesburg and Yancey Richardson, New York

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