Zanele Muholi’s visual activism on display in major UK exhibition

An exhibition featuring works by Zanele Muholi is set to captivate audiences in the UK from June 6, 2024, to January 26, 2025.
The exhibition, hosted at Tate Modern (, aims to highlight the visual activist’s profound impact on the art world and society at large.
Muholi, a renowned photographer whose art has garnered global recognition, will present over 260 photographs spanning their illustrious career.

The exhibition promises a comprehensive view of Muholi’s journey as a visual activist, capturing moments of love, intimacy and resilience within South Africa’s marginalised LGBTQIA+ communities.
The artist’s early series, “Only Half the Picture,” poignantly portrays the struggles and triumphs of Black queer individuals in a society marked by violence and prejudice. Through candid and striking images, Muholi challenges societal norms and confronts viewers with the realities faced by these communities.

Ntozakhe II, Parktown, 2016.  Image:Zanele Muholi

“Faces and Phases,” another pivotal series, confronts the viewer with direct gazes from participants, inviting empathy and understanding towards their experiences. This ongoing archive of testimonials and portraits sheds light on the resilience and authenticity of those navigating oppression and discrimination.
“Brave Beauties” and “Being” further expand Muholi’s exploration, celebrating non-binary and trans individuals while challenging stereotypes and taboos surrounding beauty and relationships. The artist’s introspective series, “Somnyama Ngonyama,” delves into themes of labour, racism, and sexual politics, offering a profound commentary on societal structures.
The exhibition, based on Muholi’s acclaimed showcase at Tate Modern in 2020-21, will feature new works reflecting the artist’s evolving perspective and ongoing commitment to social change through art. Supported by esteemed organisations like the Huo Family Foundation and Hyundai Tate Research Centre, this exhibition underscores the transformative power of art in advocating for equality and inclusivity.
Art enthusiasts and social advocates alike are urged to mark their calendars for this impactful exhibition, which promises to be a testament to Muholi’s enduring legacy as a visual activist and storyteller of our times.

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