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Nhlanhla Mofokeng, Katlehong, Johannesburg, from the series "Faces & Phases"

A work made of gelatin silver print.
© 2012 Zanele Muholi.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.


2012, printed 2014


Zanele Muholi
South African, born 1972

About this artwork

A self-described “visual activist,” Zanele Muholi aims—in both their photographs and social activism—to redefine the face of Africa and combat violence against the LGBT community. In 2006 they began a series of portraits, Faces and Phases, celebrating black lesbians in Africa. The photographs became an archive of positive images of black queer culture, in their words “marking, mapping, and preserving an often invisible community for posterity.” Muholi counters oppression by ensuring visibility, giving human expression to otherwise faceless statistics. In the vein of August Sander, whose photographs of the people of Germany catalogued a range of professions, they have documented this community’s rich diversity by photographing actresses, soccer players, scholars, dancers, filmmakers, writers, activists, and others. In each of these compelling portraits, their subjects face the camera with forcefulness and dignity.


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Photography and Media


Zanele Muholi


Nhlanhla Mofokeng, Katlehong, Johannesburg, from the series "Faces & Phases"


South Africa (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 2012


Gelatin silver print


1 of 2 artist's proof


Image: 76.5 × 50.1 cm (30 1/8 × 19 3/4 in.); Paper: 91.6 × 63.5 cm (36 1/8 × 25 in.)

Credit Line

Artworker's Retirement Society

Reference Number



© 2012 Zanele Muholi.

Extended information about this artwork

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