Zanele Muholi, the famous photographer, is currently in the spotlight at the MEP (European House of Photography) in Paris.
the first retrospective in France
From February 1 to May 21, 2023, the MEP presents the first retrospective in France devoted to Zanele Muholi, an internationally renowned South African photographer and activist, whose work documents the life of the black LGBTQIA and the individuals who constitute it. This major event, which brings together more than 200 works and numerous archival documents covers the full extent of Muholi’s career to date, thus honoring one of the most acclaimed artists today. .
Zanele Muholi, who defines himself as a “visual activist”, uses the camera as a tool against injustice. In the 1990s, South Africa experienced significant social and political changes. Democracy was established in 1994 with the abolition of apartheid, followed by a new Constitution in 1996, the first in the world to prohibit any discrimination based on sexual orientation. Despite this progress, black LGBTQIA+ people remain the target of violence and prejudice.
Questioning the stereotypes
Very involved in the life of this community, Muholi conducts photographic work that is inseparable from her activism. In her individual and collective portraits, the artist seeks to make queer and racialized people visible, while questioning the stereotypes and dominant representations associated with them. Muholi’s photographs show the diversity and uniqueness of community members, highlighting their courage and dignity in the face of multiple discrimination. They encourage the viewer to question conventional wisdom and create a new lexicon of positive images for underrepresented and underrepresented communities to promote mutual respect.
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