by Tinashe Wakapila
A journey that started with a face and a camera has evolved to phases of queer beings leaving a forest of family trees of the LBTI+ COMMUNITY. Positive Narratives of Queer beings centuries ago was nowhere to be found. If it was found it would be open for all sorts of negativity and wrongful ideologies behind it. It was more of a subjective topic. Leading the whole idea of a simple thing as a different sexuality to the other being something that people have to fight for to be accepted. That is why the great Prof. Sir Zanele Muholi saw it fit that we may be a part of this journey participating in the project named Faces and Phases.
A modern day documentary through photography (portraits to be specific), which is an important method of recording history, sharing emotional truths, and often inspiring change and kick starting dialogues with regards to an appropriate and enlightened narrative about LBT+ persons. This has become for me in my own opinion a book of reference with accurate interpretation of Black Queer Folks without no miscommunicated or misunderstood information. This documentary has fundamental brinks of empowering minority groups of people that have been marginalized for centuries.
‘I started this project in 2006’, Muholi mentioned and continued to say, “those I shoot from there will be 13 years older from that project, meaning the years have already started to pile upon this positive project and maturing it into an archive’ … images contain a great big deal rich or wealthy life story telling which may be used effectively in historical research. Also it could help lobby many gender and sexuality issues. For example, there is no one who will deny the existence of black Queer individuals coming in all shape form size or belief system when the images are speaking for themselves the existences… The potential uses of photographs as primary sources for inquiry are not limited to professional historians, but may be taught too, and used by students and upcoming generations for their own informative know of mankind and their diversities.
20th of July was a day not to be missed as this was the day of proclaiming and acclaiming the greatest through photography. Historian and custodian of today’s Queer human beings stories. This day marks how important it is mingling with people from all walks of life. Performances were executed and they had many meaningful life lessons in a metaphoric manner. The talent that was showcased through dance poetry prayer and singing was rare sapient. It defined that the humans on those walls and in those portraits have a life and careers they are pursuing besides being queer, making tthen nothing less or more than any mankind. There is nothing important than having a place to display your talent and capabilities of entertainment. Faces and Phases 13 celebration creates jobs and gigs for a lot of artists who owned the space as it is at most rare to just get an opportunity anywhere. This project/documentary is not only for activism and advocating for the lives of Queer beings but is also a time in moment many can show their abilities.
This is what makes photography one of the most important methods of documentation, both historically and in the present day. In wrapping up, a piece of all the work also compiled as digital photography in the gallery was an eye opening intelligence that our history will not be forgotten as the world unfolds.
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