Zanele Muholi knighted by France

Zanele Muholi
Photographer: Sipho Gongxela

Zanele Muholi, visual activist and photographer, received France’s Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Arts & Literature) from the Ambassador of France in South Africa, Mr Christophe Fernaud, on 22 November.

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’.

Since graduating from the Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg in 2009 and completing a MFA in Documentary Media at Ryerson University, Toronto, Muholi (45) has built a formidable career as an internationally acclaimed visual artist, activist and photographer. She was the first Black artist to have a solo show at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. She was featured at the seventh edition of the Performa Biennial in locations throughout New York City.

“Muholi’s work serves as an inspiration for social justice movements and hope for young and emerging photographers from communities that society has pushed to the margins”, says Lekgetho Makola, the Head of the Market Photo Workshop.

Muholi opened her exhibition Faces and Phases at the Market Photo Workshop Gallery on 17 November. The exhibition runs until 18 February 2018. This is the only project in Africa of its kind and it celebrates the 11th anniversary of Muholi’s acclaimed portrait series documenting Black lesbian and transgender individuals from South Africa and beyond.