Gropius Bau opens the first major survey in Germany of South African visual activist Zanele Muholi

October 14, 2021

Zanele Muholi came to prominence in the early 2000s with photographs that tell stories of black lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and intersex lives in South Africa and beyond. Presenting the full breadth of Muholi’s career, the Gropius Bau survey brings together over 200 photographs: from their very first body of work, Only Half the Picture, to their on-going series Somnyama Ngonyama. Muholi’s work addresses sexual politics, racial violence, communal resistance and self-assertion, and inherently represents visibility, empowerment and social activism. It challenges dominant stereotypes and the heteronormative gaze while speaking to various forms of societal, communal and artistic autonomy.

Stephanie Rosenthal, Director of the Gropius Bau, says: “Muholi’s work is an important part of the Gropius Bau’s programming grounded in expressions of healing and care, diverse artistic communities and socio-political change. Their work shows how healing, empathy and empowerment can persist despite collective trauma, and how photography can be a means for repair and activism alike. Amid the backdrop of post-apartheid change and continued discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community, Muholi celebrates an intersectional Blackness in the lives of gender non-conforming individuals.”

Zanele Muholi @ Gropius Bau
26 November 2021 – 13 March 2022

Press Preview: Thursday 25 November 10am-1pm
Press Conference: Thursday 25 November 11am
Niederkirchnerstraße 7, 10963 Berlin, Germany

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