2014 Feb.14: PRESS RELEASE

VENUE: Wits Art Museum







In times of increasingly homophobic legislation enacted by African countries such as Nigeria, Ghana; and in a climate of intolerance towards homosexuals in the Western world, South Africa distinguishes itself with a Constitution that recognizes same-sex marriages; yet the black LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) community is plagued by rampant hate crimes.
Black lesbians are particularly vulnerable and are regularly victims of brutal murders and ‘curative rapes’ at the hand of neighbours and ‘friends’.
Despite 20 Years of Democracy, in his STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS
(13 February 2014), President Jacob Zuma failed to acknowledge issues of Homosexuality, despite the alarming homophobic incidents and callous murders of the LGBTI community and the countries Constitutional obligation.
Therefore, Zanele Muholi’s work becomes a socio-political mirror and the voice of LGBTI Communities – Visual Activism at this harsh period.


The Prins Claus Awards are presented annually to individuals and organisations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean for their outstanding achievements in the field of culture and development.

In 2013 the Prins Claus International committee recognized Zanele Muholi with the high international award for her contribution in her revolutionary cultural and artistic work.  Its been a positive impact in Culture and Development in the context of South African representation/s of the LGBTI communities plight to equality. It is also the documentation of the black queer beauty and existence in claiming the mainstream spaces which previously and currently displaces LGBTI Individuals in South African Society.

On a global scale, Muholi is 1 of 11 global laureates, and the first black lesbian from Africa to receive this prestigious award. In a closed ceremony that will be attended by an Amsterdam ambassador, Ms Fariba Derakshani, whom will also give a key note today, 14th February 2014 at Wits Art Museum, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

This will be followed by her solo exhibition launch of LOVE & LOSS.  Which she has been documenting from 2013.   Through her camera lenses, she has captured weddings and funerals in the black LGBTI community in South Africa to represent the joyful and painful events that often seem to go hand in hand. The show features photographs, video works and an installation highlighting how manifestations of sorrow and celebration bear similarities and are occasions to underline the need for a safe space to express individual identities.

As Muholi writes:

Ayanda and Nhlanhla Moremi’s wedding in Katlehong took place four months after Duduzile Zozo was murdered in Thokoza.
Promise Meyer and Gift Sammone’s wedding in Daveyton took place on 22 December 2013in Daveyton, 15 days after Maleshwane Radebe was buried in Ratanda.
Six months earlier, Ziningi and Delisile Ndlela were married in Chesterville, Durban.
Many in the area attended the ceremony, blessed the newlywed couple and prayed for them and their children.
We long for such blessings as we continue to read about the trials and tribulations that LGBTI persons experience in their churches, where homosexuality is persecuted. In 2014, when South African democracy celebrates its 20 years, it seems more important than ever to raise again our voices against hate crimes and discriminations imposed on the black LGBTI community.


The exhibition includes a series of documented weddings and funerals, autobiographical images, intimate portraits of Muholi and her partner taken during their travels. A tender counterpoint to the tension still generated in South Africa today by same-sex and interracial relationships.

Of LOVE & LOSS exhibition will open shortly after the awards ceremony on Friday 14 February, from 7.30 to 9.30pm and will run until 4 April 2014 at the Stevenson Gallery, Braamfontein.


Muholi was born in Umlazi, Durban. Currently lives and work in Johannesburg.
In 2013 Muholi was the recipient of the Fine Prize for an emerging artist at the Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

In 2013, was made Honorary Professor of the University of the Arts/Hochschule für Künste Bremen; won the Index on Censorship – Freedom of Expression art award in London and was named as one of Foreign Policy’s Global Thinkers of 2013.
Muholi’s Faces and Phases series was included on the South African Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale, Imaginary Fact: South African art and the archive (2013),
on Documenta 13 in 2012, and on the 29th São Paulo Biennale in 2010.

Muholi work is currently on view at Wits Art Museum in Johannesburg as part of Queer and Trans Art-iculations, a joint exhibition with Gabrielle Le Roux
(until 30 March); has solo exhibitions at the Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA (until 27 April) and Wentrup Gallery, Berlin
(till 28 February), and an upcoming show at the Schwules Museum,
Berlin (21 March to 9 June).

ISSUED BY: Aluta Humbane/Yaya Mavundla

CELL: 071 450 5879/0842211917

EMAIL: alutahumbane@yahoo.com or yayamavundla@gmail.com

WEBSITE: www.inkanyiso.org





62 Juta Street

WEBSITE: jhb@stevenson.info

TELEPHONE:  +27 (0)11 403 1055/1908
F +27 (0)86 275 1918


ADDRESS: University Corner, Corner Bertha (extension of Jan Smuts Avenue) and Jorissen    Streets, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.


By car
From M1 S and M1 N, take Jan Smuts Avenue off-ramp. Travel south on Jan Smuts Ave towards the Nelson Mandela Bridge. The Museum is located 3 blocks before the bridge, on the corner of Jorissen Street. It is diagonally across the road from artist Clive van Berg’s Eland sculpture and adjacent to Trinity Church.

By Rea Vaya 
WAM is on the turquoise Chancellor House to Johannesburg Art Gallery route. The closest stop is on the corner of Jorissen and Station Streets. The stop is the same block as the Museum.

By Metrobus
The Metrobus stop is in front of Pick ‘n Pay in Jorissen Street. The stop is in the block across the road from WAM.


This entry was posted in Readings, Recognition, Records and histories, Relationships, Religion, Reports, Response, Sharing knowledge, South Africa, South African Artists, South African Black Female Photographers, South African townships, Speaking for ourselves, Struggling activist, Textualizing Our Own Lives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s