Zanele Muholi avec Zanele Muholi: Faces and Phases 2006-2014
In Faces and Phases 2006-14, Zanele Muholi embarks on a journey of visual activism to ensure black queer and transgender visibility. Despite South Africa's progressive Constitution and twenty years of democracy, black lesbians and trans men remain the targets of brutal hate crimes and so-called corrective rapes. Taken over the past eight years, the more than 250 portraits in this book, accompanied by moving testimonies, present a compelling statement about the lives and struggles of these individuals. They also comprise an unprecedented and invaluable archive: marking, mapping and preserving an often invisible community for posterity.
A collection of portraits, poems, and personal essays, Faces and Phases provides a sobering testament to the suffering and strength of its subjects. "I think it's the first book of its kind in Africa that features black lesbians in a positive way," Muholi told the Cut.--Erica Schwiegershausen "New York Magazine "
In 2006, Muholi began her Faces and Phases project, an ambitious series of bold, undeniably powerful portraits of lesbians made against plain or patterned backgrounds--now numbering around three hundred--and often exhibited in tightly arranged grids. Faces and Phases is the subject of an extensive book, published by Steidl last fall, that forms a monumental chapter in Muholi's mission to remedy black queer invisibility.--The Editors "Aperture Magazine "
First exhibited in 2013, Faces and Phases 2006-2014 is a portrait series of South African lesbians, targets of discrimination and hate crimes, despite twenty years of democracy. This project, published as a book last September, can be seen as a kind of "visual activism." It was started in 2006 by Zanele Muholi, who was moved by the loss of two young friends to HIV. (One had also been the victim of several assaults.) Muholi hopes to help black South African lesbians be more represented, and enrich the nascent visual history of a community which has, she says, been long ignored not only by the country's media, but also by the gay rights movement that began in the 1990s. Taken over the course of eight years, these 250 portraits, each more poignant than the last and accompanied by moving testimonies, are a convincing statement of the life and struggle of the subjects. Because Muholi herself is a part of this community, her work is inseparable from her own history. Therein lies the power of her photographs: she displays a sensitivity with the subject which only an "insider" could possess.--Jonas Cuenin "L'Oeil de la Photographie "