They are both South African lesbian icons. Most influential in different ways.
Some of the commonalities between them is their sexuality and being born in South Africa during the ’70s. Bev from Soweto and Zanele in Umlazi township.
About Bev Palesa Ditsie
Bev. is an activist, filmmaker, musician, actor, television producer and director.
She was at the forefront of the LGBT rights in South Africa and beyond through the whole of the 1990s. She was instrumental in founding the gay rights organisation GLOW, creating and contributing to public conversations regarding gay rights, women’s rights, human rights, influencing policy and raising awareness, and was one of the organisers of South Africa’s first Gay Pride March.
She is also the first gay African woman to address the United Nations.
She has been working in the television industry since the age of 10 as an actor and voice over artist.
In the past 18 years Bev has worked as a Director, Content Director and Series Director on music videos, variety, education shows, documentaries, and reality television shows such as Big Brother Africa, Master Chef SA, All You Need Is Love and Survivor South Africa seasons to date.
Awards and Citations
1994 June 17 Bev Ditsie/ Simon Nkoli Day, Washington DC, USA
1994 July 05 Bev Ditsie/ Simon Nkoli Day, San Francisco, USA
1995 June 12 Citation (Key of the City) Philadelphia, Penn, USA
1995 Nov. Main Speaker at the 4th United Nations Conference on Women, Beijing
2004 March “Simon and I” Oxfam/ Vues d’Afrique best documentary, Montreal, Canada
2006 June – Lifetime Achievement Award: GALA
2012 Feather of the Year award
Contributing writer – Curve Magazine, USA – 2000
Contributing writer – Tribute Woman, Tribute Magazine – 1997
Columnist – “Bev’s beat” – Outright Magazine 1995 – 1998
Zanele Muholi is a visual activist and was born in Umlazi, Durban, and lives in Johannesburg.
Muholi co-founded the Forum for Empowerment of Women (FEW) in 2002.
In 2009, founded Inkanyiso (www.inkanyiso.org) queer & visual (activists) media.
Muholi 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.
Muholi continues to train and co-facilitates photography workshops to young women in the townships.
Current project: 2014 PhotoXP, a collaboration with three women at Aurora Girls High School, Soweto.
She studied Advanced photography at the Market Photo Workshop in Newtown, Johannesburg.
In 2007 – 2009 studied MFA: Documentary Media at Ryerson University, Toronto.
Muholi is an Honorary Professor of the University of the Arts/Hochschule für Künste Bremen.
Her Faces and Phases series has shown on Documenta 13; the South African Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale, Imaginary Fact: South African art and the archive; and the 29th São Paulo Biennale; a book of the series published by Steidl Press will be launched in Ulm, Germany in Sept. 2014.
Fine Prize – Emerging artist, Carnegie International
Prince Claus Award
Feather Award – Feather of the Year
Mbokodo Award – Creative photography
Index on Censorship – Freedom of Expression art award
Campaigner of the Year, Glamour magazine
Jean-Paul Blachère Award, Les Rencontres de Bamako biennial of African photography
Casa Africa Award for best female photographer, Les Rencontres de Bamako biennial of African photography
Fanny Ann Eddy accolade by the International Resource Network in Africa (IRN-Africa)
LGBTI Art & Culture Award
- Faces and Phases (2006 – 2014)
- Zanele Muholi: African Women Photographers #1 (2011)
- Faces and Phases (2010)
- Only half the Picture (2006)