For the first time, Tate Modern welcomes the work of award-winning South African activist Zanele Muholi, whose photographs explore the meaning of gender, sexuality and ethnicity.
Since completing an Advanced Photography course in Johannesburg in 2003, Muholi has used photographs to shed light on the abuse that minority groups experience in South Africa. In their first solo exhibition ‘Only Half the Picture’, Muholi featured photographs of survivors of hate crimes to highlight people’s reluctance to report cases of violence against the black queer community. Muholi has also photographed themself to raise awareness of other social issues, and in their exhibition ‘Somnyama Ngonyama’, Muholi’s self-portraits ask you to think about how stereotypical standards of beauty often ignore people of colour. Muholi is more than just a photographer, and has co-directed documentaries about the difficulties experienced by black lesbian women in South Africa.
This exhibition presents over 260 photographs from the start of Muholi’s career, offering you an intriguing interpretation of the relationship between identity, freedom and oppression.