NDSM Billboards | Zanele Muholi Archived


1 August – 14 September 2022

During Pride Amsterdam, Stichting NDSM-werf presents three self-portraits by Zanele Muholi on NDSM-billboards.

The works for NDSM come from a series of self-portraits under the title Somnyama Ngonyama. In this series, the visual activist and photographer decided ‘to turn the camera on themselves’. In contrast to their life-long project of documenting members of their black LGBTQ community in South Africa and beyond, in these portraits they are both ‘participant and image-maker’.

Speaking about the series, Muholi said in an interview with Renée Mussai that the series affirms ‘to those who doubt whenever they speak to themselves, whenever they look in the mirror, to say, “You’re worthy, You count. Nobody has the right to undermine you, because of your being, because of your race, because of your gender expression, because of your sexuality, because of all you are.”

Zanele Muholi currently lives and works in South Africa, between Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. In 2009 they founded Inkanyiso (www.inkanyiso.org), a forum for queer and visual (activist) media and in 2002 they co-founded the Forum for Empowerment of Women (FEW).

Muholi’s works will be shown on the ‘NDSM Billboards’ from 1 Aug. to 14 Sep. by which Stichting NDSM-werf offers space to artists on large construction billboards: “In addition to the construction billboards on the western part of the NDSM, where construction is in full swing, we give artists on NDSM-east the opportunity to stick their artistic statements on construction billboards. With its 10 hectares, the wharf forms a beautiful backdrop for large images to make the work visible to northerners and Amsterdammers. With this work by Muholi, we address the question of who is represented in public space and which voices are heard and seen there in order to create a polyphonic public space, especially now with Pride Amsterdam,” says curator Petra Heck.

© Zanele Muholi. Courtesy of Stevenson, Amsterdam/Cape Town/Johannesburg and Yancey Richardson, New York



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