About the Photographer
South African, b. 1972
Zanele Muholi is a photographer and visual activist whose ongoing series of large-format black and white photographs Faces and Phases aims to redress the invisibility of lesbian and queer identity in post-apartheid South Africa. Muholi counters conventional perceptions of lesbian and transgender communities—which suffer from an epidemic of continuous assaults and “corrective” rapes—by creating portraits of individual members that convey their dignity and empowerment. To date, she has made more than 240 portraits, ensuring black queer visibility and assembling an archive of an often invisible and marginalized population for posterity. Muholi’s work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Centre Georges Pompidou, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Tate Modern, among others.