Founded in 2006 in recognition of a lack of black queer visibility, Muholi’s Faces and Phases series has grown into a living archive of black and white photographic portraits of more than 500 lesbians, gender-nonconforming individuals and transmen in various expressions of their sexuality and gender identity.
The exhibition coincides with Muholi’s birthday month and the 13th anniversary of this ongoing series. This new exhibition aims to highlight the long-term relationships that have been nurtured through this series, foregrounding the beauty of the participants and the importance of archiving their presence. Created as a means to ensure the visibility of black lesbian and transgender communities post-1994, the series addresses the dearth of visual history for black LGBTQIA+ people within the South African queer canon and draws attention to the brutal hate crimes that continue to plague South Africa today.
In 2019, Faces and Phases 13 embraces a reflective stance to honour some of the milestones reached by this activist project, while acknowledging the long road ahead before full emancipation may be achieved, including the total eradication of hate crimes against members of the LGBTQIA+ communities. The project visually lobbies for the inclusion of and nondiscrimination against LGBTQIA+ individuals in economic, academic, social and other spheres of society.
Muholi is a visual activist and photographer born in Umlazi, Durban, and living in Johannesburg. Muholi’s self-proclaimed mission is ‘to re-write a black queer and trans visual history of South Africa for the world to know of our resistance and existence at the height of hate crimes in SA and beyond.
The exhibition opens on Saturday 20 July from 9am to 5pm.
Venue: Stevenson Gallery, 46 7th Ave
Time: Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm | Sat 10am to 1pm