Location : South Africa
Sometimes she looks at her own lens as if she wanted to go through its walls. Zanele Muholi’s laser gaze also sometimes goes, rises to the sky. Always, something hard, intense, mingled with a lot of grace. The staging, the black pigment on her face, further heightens the effect. Nothing, ever, seems to escape these eyes which recall those of certain soldiers. But around this gaze, there is a device that plays clichés, the better to crush them. In each of the self-portraits of the series “Somnyama ngonyama” (in Zulu “praised be the black lioness”). Humor pierces through violence, and vice versa. At the end of her project, she has 365 images of herself. Like the 365 days of the year for a black woman. Lesbian, must live in this identity. Zanele Muholi only forces the line because she needs to be seen, heard. She has a message, she also says a “mission”.
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