Zanele Muholi

Artist and activist championing the often voiceless

The Johannesburg-based photographer, filmmaker and self-titled ‘visual activist’ is at the forefront of both celebrating the existence of, and campaigning against the violence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities in her native South Africa and beyond. Cofounder of the Forum for Empowerment of Women and founder of the Inkanyiso forum for queer media, her 2015 solo exhibition Isibonelo/ Evidence, at New York’s Brooklyn Museum, included 87 images from her uncompromising portrait series Faces and Phases (2006–14) led to her being shortlisted for the 2015 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. In 2016 she was the recipient of an Annual Infinity Award from New York’s ICP. With work in this year’s Berlin Biennale and at the Rencontres d’Arles photography festival; a cocurating gig at Maja Hoffmann’s LUMA Foundation in the same city; and group shows and lectures lined up in the US, Norway and Mauritius, Muholi is making sure her message is being heard.