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Zanele Muholi

Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness

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Zanele Muholi confronts the politics of race and representation in the visual archive

EXHIBITION

Taken primarily in Europe, North America and Africa between 2014 and 2016, each portrait in Somnyama Ngonyama – isiZulu for Hail, the Dark Lioness – poses critical questions about social justice, human rights and contested representations of the black body. Muholi’s self-reflective and psychologically charged portraits are unapologetic in their artistry as she explores different archetypes/personae and offers visual reflections inspired by personal experiences and socio-political events.

"I’m reclaiming my blackness, which I feel is continuously performed by the privileged ‘other’. My reality is that I do not mimic being black; it is my skin, and the experience of being black is deeply entrenched in me. Just like our ancestors, we live as black people 365 days a year, and we should speak without fear." – Zanele Muholi

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