Sex & Gender

south african photographer zanele muholi’s queer politics

December 9, 2013

Many of us want to bring about change within our communities because of the disoriented minds of people that ultimately produce chaos, be it injustice, hate crimes, poverty etc. Those determined to revolt against the ills of the world find a way to get the message of their heart across. South African photographer Zanele Muholi is one of these revolutionaries sharing her opinions, beliefs, and love to people near and afar. She is an activist for the Black LGBT community- documenting the beauty, intimacy, and violence brought on by common oppressors.

By Tip Jordan, AFROPUNK Contributor *
When the topic of LGBT issues arises, many get uncomfortable and try to run from its existence but truth is, it’s impossible! The fact that some may find the LGBTQI community destructive to society for whatever reason, they are afraid to tackle what is truly an issue in the world such as poverty, racism, injustice, rape, and hate crimes with just as much energy. Zanele Muholi has become a great advocate in shining light on these issues within the LGBT community in South Africa, obliging to stand up for those muted, and invisible. Through Zanele’s aesthetic, she captures emotion in her photographs and in the depth of the eyes of those sharing their stories. She documents through honest photography and forces the world to consider the LGBT community as the human beings they are. Her pictures vary from sensual and sultry, to fabulous and ‘take me as I am’ types of imagery where all one can do is value the courage and respect the identity and beauty captured.

As she is becoming a catalyst for change through Ikanyiso- a collective of creatives working together to be spokespersons of queer media and queer activism, Zanele’s voice has been echoing all throughout the LGBT community and soon to be heard by the world!

* Tip Jordan’s blog: