Zanele Muholi (born July 19th, 1972) is a South African artist and visual activist that works with video installation and photography. Her work mainly focuses on race, gender, and sexuality. Her work dives in deep with lesbian, gay, and transgender people. Zanele tends to focus not on negativity of a situation, but rather, the moment itself. Through her artistry she hopes to document the African Queer community for future generations to witness. In her photos of the LGBTQIA+ community, she tries to capture these people as individuals while also showing them in a way that brings forth the idea of a community. Muholi launched her first visual activism in her first solo exhibition entitled, “Visual Sexuality: Only Half the Picture”. This exhibition featured photos of rape, sexual assault, and hate crime survivors. The way she photographed these people didn’t give any idea of the gender of each person, but instead focused on what was important.
I personally love Zanele Muholi’s work so much because it is just so damn powerful. Her portraits are so incredibly captivating. I am not sure if it is because the people photographed are just so breath taking or if it is Muholi’s ability to make an every day interaction into something exquisitely beautiful.
All work courteous of Zanele Muholi.