Thursday, September 27, 2018

Book Launch:
Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama,
Hail the Dark Lioness, Aperture

Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness includes one hundred self-portraits created by one of the most powerful visual activists of our time. In each of the images, Muholi drafts material props from her immediate environment in an effort to reflect her journey, explore her own image and possibilities as a black woman in today’s global society, and—most important—to speak emphatically in response to contemporary and historical racisms. As she states, “I am producing this photographic document to encourage people to be brave enough to occupy spaces, brave enough to create without fear of being vilified. . . . To teach people about our history, to re-think what history is all about, to re-claim it for ourselves, to encourage people to use artistic tools such as cameras as weapons to fight back.” More than twenty curators, poets, and authors offer written contributions that draw out the layers of meaning and possible readings to accompany select images.

Award-winning South African visual activist and photographer, Zanele Muholi, is a cofounder of the Forum for the Empowerment of Women and founder of Inkanyiso, a forum for queer and visual media.


Time: – 6:30-8:00 pm
Location:  Silver Center-NYU, Jurow Lecture Hall
100 Washington Square East, Room 101a, 1st Floor
(between Waverly place and Washington Place) 

Please RSVP: nyuiaaa-cbvc-events@nyu.edu  or (212) 998-IAAA(4222)
Please make sure to state the event name and date in your email.


Zanele Muholi is a visual activist/ photographer born in Umlazi, Durban, and lives in Johannesburg. Muholi Co-founded the Forum for Empowerment of Women (FEW) in 2002, and in 2009 founded Inkanyiso, a forum for queer and visual (activist) media. Muholi’s self-proclaimed 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.”  She trains and co-facilitates photography workshops for young women in the townships and beyond. Muholi studied Advanced Photography at the Market Photo Workshop in Newtown, Johannesburg, and in 2009 completed an MFA: Documentary Media at Ryerson University, Toronto.  Muholi is also an Honorary Professor at the University of the Arts/Hochschule für Künste Bremen, Germany and has won numerous awards including Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres from France; the ICP Infinity Award for Documentary and Photojournalism; Africa’S Out! Courage and Creativity Award; the Outstanding International Alumni Award from Ryerson University. Most recent shows include: Somnyama Ngonyama at Autograph ABP; Performa 2017; Zanele Muholi Homecoming: Durban Art Gallery; Faces and Phases 11 at Market Workshop, Johannesburg; Art/ Afrique, le nouvel atelier At Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris; Kyotographie International Photography Festival in Kyoto; Systematically Personae at the FotoFocus Biennal held at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati, Ohio. Muholi’s publications are Somnyama Ngonyama as well as Faces and Phases 2006-14 (Steidl/The Walther Collection); Zanele Muholi: African Women Photographers #1 (Casa Africa and La Fábrica); Faces and Phases and Only half the picture (Stevenson).

Co-sponsored by the Aperture Foundation and the NYU Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality (CSGS)