African-based news, lifestyle & popular culture platform that brings you stories and information concerning Africa and the African diaspora. Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is a rich content-driven creative space with a Pan-African outlook established as an expressive platform for African experiences, African culture and African stories.

Dynamic Africa is a diverse multimedia platform, which curates global ideas, memes, attitudes and other phenomena that shape popular culture, with both a local and global African perspective.

CONTACT: dynamicafricablog@gmail.com

all submissions via email only



Recent Tweets @DynamicAfrica
Posts tagged "zanele muholi"


Photographer Zanele Muholi’s series Faces and Phases gives a history to the black lesbians in her community. While each woman is pictured as an individual, the portraits are meant to be displayed together, celebrating the collective experience of the women. As Muholi says, “We are connected by photography.”

Join SFMOMA and artist Zanele Muholi for an artist talk at SFJAZZ on 3/12→

South African artist Zanele Muholi explores hate crimes and the end of a life in her short film for PUMA’s films4peace - films made in commemoration of World Peace day on September 21st, 2013.

Such a heavy film.

October: Highlighting African Art & African Artists

tw: staging of violent and traumatic crimes.


Los Angeles! Zanele Muholi is giving a talk on 9/21 discussing Visual activism & black lesbian visibility in South Africa! Spread the word! 

Top: Samuel Fosso, La Femme Américaine Libérée des Années 70,” 1997.

Bottom: Zanele Muholi, “Miss D’vine I,” 2007.

South African photographer Zanele Muholi has spent the last 10 years determinedly creating a visual archive of black lesbian life in South Africa, often in the face of considerable opposition.

On Thursday night her work was recognised with a major international freedom of expression prize at the Index on Censorship awards, which, according to chairman Jonathan Dimbleby, celebrate the fundamental right to “write, blog, tweet, speak out, protest and create art and literature and music”.

Other winners announced at the annual prizegiving evening in London included Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai and Greek editor Kostas Vaxevanis.

Muholi said that South Africa was country of huge contrasts for gay people: on the one hand it has been enormously progressive and in 1996 became the first country in the world to constitutionally prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation; on the other, there is a culture of fear if you are gay and serious hate crime is a huge problem, including “corrective” rape to “straighten out” lesbians. In the last year, four women have been murdered because of their sexuality, including Phumeza Nkolonzi, 22, who was shot dead in front of her grandmother and niece, and Sihle Sikoji, aged 19 when she was stabbed to death.

Getting the award comes at a particularly poignant time for Muholi, she said, because it is six years after the death of Busi Sigasa and seven after the death of Buhle Msibi – both black lesbian activists who were survivors of rape but who ended up HIV-positive. Both were activist colleagues and featured in her photography.

Muholi hopes that her work helps other lesbians in South Africa. “The minute you see likeness is when you realise that no matter what you’re going through in your own life, you are not alone,” she said.

Kirsty Hughes, the chief executive of Index, said: “Zanele has shown tremendous bravery in the face of criticism and harassment for ground-breaking images which include intimate portraits of gay women in South Africa, where homosexuality is still taboo and lesbians are the target of horrific hate crimes. She has won the award both for her courage and the powerful statements made by her work.”


Artist mourns loss of her work on African lesbians: Burglars stole hard drives that held an archive of five years’ worth of images celebrating the community.

It was a most unusual burglary. Thieves got in through the bathroom window and walked past the flat-screen TV, DVD player, expensive camera and a couple of brand-new cellphones. Instead, they took 20 external hard drives and some digital camera memory cards.

It didn’t make sense to Zanele Muholi, an art photographer and activist, the victim of the April theft.

Unless …

Something cold shifted inside her. Could this be another hate crime against lesbians?

The stolen hard drives, all hidden in different locations around her apartment, were the archive of five years of Muholi’s extraordinary work photographing marginalized lesbians in many African countries.

Photo: South African photographer Zanele Muholi’s portraits of Thobeka Mavundla, left, and Vuyelwa Makubetse are among the works featured at the Documenta festival in Kassel, Germany. Credit: Zanele Muholi

To find out how you can help Zanele Muholi by contributing towards replacing her equipment and rebuilding her archives, click here



Article titled:“Faces and Phases: Portraits from South Africa’s Lesbian Community”

Despite being the first country to draft a constitution that explicitly forbids discrimination based on sexuality, “hostility toward ‘difference’ has barely slackened,” she writes, “and crimes against gays, and women, have increased.” One in every two women in the country can expect to be raped at least once in her lifetime.

Such attacks have been the driving force behind the work of South African photographer and visual activist Zanele Muholi, whom we commissioned to photograph Lungile Cleopatra Dladla, a survivor of “corrective” rape and one of the subjects of Hunter-Gault’s piece. “In the face of all the challenges our community encounters daily,” Muloli told me, “I embarked on a journey of visual activism to insure that there is black queer visibility.”

Muholi had photographed Dladla already, in fact, as part of “Faces and Phases,” a series of more than two hundred portraits of South Africa’s lesbian community. “Collectively, the portraits are at once a visual statement and an archive,” Muholi explained, “marking, mapping and preserving an often invisible community for posterity.”

Muholi herself became a victim of a targeted attack last month, when the flat she lives in with her partner was broken into and over twenty of her hard drives were stolen, effectively erasing the last five years of work that Muholi has been tirelessly building. “I’m still traumatized by the burglary,” she told me. “It’s hard to fall asleep in this place, which is now a crime scene, as I dealt with many crime scenes before.”

Contributions to help Muholi replace her stolen equipment can be made through this Indiegogo campaign

Published by The New Yorker, 5/22/12

South African artist Zanele Muholi talks about the inspiration behind her autobiographical documentary Difficult Love.

The film puts a spotlight on the South African black lesbian community and tackles many of the misconceptions about their experiences by personalizing their stories and challenging the stereotypes often associated with being black and lesbian in South Africa.

Click here to find out how you can watch Difficult Love.