Thursday, 3 March 2011

Faces and Phrases

  • Zanele Muholi (South Africa) - 29ª Bienal de São Paulo
  • Zanele Muholi's art overlaps with her role at the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW), an organization of black lesbians in Gauteng, and with her work as a photojournalist for the online magazine Behind the Mask, which broaches the theme of homosexuality in South Africa. Her visual and gender activism is an attempt to amplify the voice and enlarge the space of these women, a very specific identitary platform within contemporary South African society. Excluded by other queer movements, generally coordinated by male, homosexual, European, and North American elements, this almost invisible and underground community is highly stigmatized and a target for prejudice, aggression, rape, and murder. Each of the women portrayed in the series Faces and Phrases fulfils a specific role and expresses a specific social identity within the black lesbian community, be they athletes, actresses, researchers, lawyers, dancers, or filmmakers. Together, these images challenge sensationalism and victimization by eschewing explicit violence in favor of the intimate, empathetic, and positive celebration of difference and unity in the faces of these protagonists of resistance. (From: 29ª Bienal)
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