Skip to main content

Amanda Mapuma, Vredehoek, Cape Town, 2011 (work of art)

Artwork Info

Zanele Muholi
Artist Details
South African
30 x 20 in. (76.2 x 50.8 cm) framed:
35 1⁄2 x 25 in.
(90.2 x 63.5 cm)


Of their images, Muholi has noted, “This is not art, this is life; each and every photo is someone’s biography.”4 This statement sums up the entirety of their series Faces and Phases, begun in 2006 and continuing today. Here, Muholi captures the lives of the black queer community in South Africa, having photographed over two hundred individuals to date. Each portrait in Faces and Phases acts as a personal biography of a person in this community, many of whom are friends of the artist. Some of these individuals have experienced violence due to their sexuality, including as victims of “corrective rape.” Muholi’s work is a form of visual activism for this community, as they notes, “I wanted to fill a gap in South Africa’s visual history that, even 10 years after the fall of apartheid, wholly excluded our very existence.”5 Through these photographs, Muholi not only attempts to bring visibility to the marginalized, but .they also endeavor to lessen the stigma surrounding the LGBT community in South Africa and lessen the continued preponderance of hate crimes against homosexuals therein. 


  • Amanda Mapuma, Vredehoek, Cape Town, 2011 by Zanele Muholi