featured event

Somnyama Ngonyama by Zanele Muholi

Launch | Wednesday 15th | 18h00
The Maitland Institute
Unit 15, The Meat Factory, 372 Voortrekker Road,
(parking entrance off Mowbray Street)

The Maitland Institute, a space in Cape Town dedicated to art and ideas, is launching with a show by Zanele Muholi.

“With the series Somnyama Ngonyama, I have decided to turn the camera on myself. In contrast to my life-long project of documenting members of my black LGBTI community in South Africa and beyond, one in which I normally have the privilege of witnessing participants’ presentation of themselves according to their own self-image, with this new work I have created portraits in which I am both participant and image-maker.

Somnyama Ngonyama (meaning ‘Hail, the Dark Lioness’) is an unflinchingly personal approach I have taken as a visual activist to confronting the politics of race and pigment in the photographic archive. It is a statement of self-presentation through portraiture. The entire series also relates to the concept of MaID (‘My Identity’) or, read differently, ‘maid’, the quotidian and demeaning name given to all subservient black women in South Africa.”

- Zanele Muholi