BBC | Bidisha:
“Behind every portrait there’s a life story. It’s important not just to take photographs but also to include the name, the location – to break the aesthetic.”
Pam Dlungwana, Woodstock Cape Town, from the series Faces and Phases, 2010
In a break during the installation of a new display of her work at The Photographers’ Gallery, South African photographer Zanele Muholi is holding forth ardently about the lives of the black lesbian women and trans men she portrays, showing me their portraits alongside their harrowing testimonies of homophobic violence, ‘curative’ rape and extreme prejudice from the medical, religious, legal and political worlds.
Muholi calls herself not an artist but a “visual activist” whose role is to bear and share witness, to honour victims and survivors, document hate crimes and sexual violence, challenge stigmatisation and silencing and expose failures in the criminal justice system…