The power of naming means to put something into existence.
Three people stare directly at you, fierce and proud. These black-and-white photographs by visual activist Zanele Muholi, from the artist’s Faces and Phases series, document black lesbian women and transgender men in South Africa. Despite the nation’s liberal constitution, black queer people face severe homophobia and transphobia that lead to “curative” rape, beatings, and murder.
In recognizing the Faces and Phases participants through the camera lens, Muholi, who grew up in South Africa under apartheid, not only bears witness to disenfranchised people but also creates an archive for the future: These people exist(ed). They are human. They are complex. See them.
From the exhibition: Give a damn. (June 30 – September 30, 2018)