Thembekile, Parktown, 2015

by

Zanele Muholi

Zanele Muholi. Thembekile, Parktown

2015. "Somnyama Ngonyama" series. Silver gelatin print

Fondation Louis Vuitton Collection, Paris

© Zanele Muholi © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage

David Goldblatt and Zanele Muholi artworks

Installation view, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris

© David Goldblatt © Zanele Muholi © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage

Zanele Muholi artworks, "Somnyama Ngonyama" series

Installation view, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris

© Zanele Muholi © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage

David Goldblatt and Zanele Muholi artworks

Installation view, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris

© David Goldblatt © Zanele Muholi © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage

Following the project “Faces and Phases,” for which Zanele Muholi worked with models to create more than three hundred portraits, the series Somnyama Ngonyama – begun in 2014 – features the artist as subject. 

The title, in Zulu, means "Hello black lioness." Muholi, who is an outspoken activist, appears in a series of autoportraits, using outrageous costumes and accessories evoking stereotypes about Africa and femininity. Appearing with pride, she reverses and rejects cliches and archetypes related to her own condition.

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