Zanele Muholi Explores Representation Of Lesbian African Women

 Zanele Muholi

Katlego Mashiloane and Nosipho Lavuta, Ext. 2, Lakeside, Johannesburg 2007

Zanele Muholi photos

Nando Maphisa and Mpho Sibiya, Sasolburg, Johannesburg 2006

Zanele Muholi photography

Busi Mdaki and Malesedi Nthute, Katlehong, Johannesburg 2007

Zanele Muholi, a South African activist and visual artist, explores and re-imagines the intimate portrayal of the lives of black lesbian women in South Africa.

Moreover, Being, the title of this collection, according to Muholi, aims to question the construction of sexuality “and then [the] deconstruct of ourselves […] in order to see the parts that make up [the] whole.”

Black women and sexuality, in conjunction, have always been topics of heated conversation, as it not only refers to sexuality, but also a matter of colonialism and white patriarchy.

The artist is concerned with her sexual identity coming off as ‘un-African’ – perhaps a product of years of stigmatization on behalf of white colonialist and patriarchal societies, deeming the black female sexual identity as one that is hyper-sexualized and strictly heterosexual- or even then, the image of a black female to “reproduce” heterosexuality and white patriarchy.

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