Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Zanele Muholi’s new work mourns and celebrates South African queer lives

Many of the images in Zanele Muholi's new solo exhibition, "Of Love & Loss," depict the celebration of black gay and lesbian weddings. She tells me about Ayanda Moremi’s marriage to Nhlanhla in Katlehong, Johannesburg, in November last year. Ayanda, a lesbian mother who lives in Vosloorus, was at the forefront of Duduzile Zozo’s funeral. Zozo, a...

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Zanele Muholi’s “Mo(u)rning” | Exhibition

On Thursday, July 26, the Michael Stevenson Gallery in Cape Town had an opening: Mo(u)rning. Photographic and other works by Zanele Muholi. Muholi had lost much of her work a couple months earlier in a more than...

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

New Photography Book Depicts the South African Social Landscape

Between 2012 and 2013, an exercise took place known as the France South Africa Season. This bilateral initiative was aimed at strengthening relations between the two countries. In 2012 South Africa hosted France for a wide range...

Friday, January 31st, 2014

The Work of Kenyan Photographer Mimi Cherono Ng’ok

Mimi Cherono Ng’ok (b. 1983) is a young Kenyan photographer who lives and works in Nairobi. Educated from the University of Cape Town in 2006 she has a number of exhibition and projects behind her. Despite her...

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

Soweto Pride

Today, Johannesburg will host its annual Pride event with a march and other festivities. The 2013 event, titled, “Back To Our Roots,” was rescheduled in September and moved to the well-heeled Sandton district of the city. Yet both the new title and...

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Why do the middle classes in South Africa pay their domestic workers such low wages?

A few months after the Hewitts, a white South African family in the capital Pretoria, moved to a black township to live there for a month and blogged about it, we are left to wonder — media...

Friday, July 19th, 2013

On the Pain of Violent Men, or, Why I’m not Sorry about Max and Montle

TRIGGER WARNING: sexual violence Let me start by saying that I feel very ambivalent about causing two workers to lose their source of income. It makes me uncomfortable to have deprived anyone of a wage in this...

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

My Favorite Photographs N°12: Kelebogile Ntladi

The latest image-maker in the “Favorite Photographs” series is South African photographer Kelebogile Ntladi. Based in Johannesburg, Kelebogile uses her images to interrogate gender norms and unapologetically contribute to the establishment of new space for dynamic identities...

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Africa and the Biennial: Regard Benin

In Africa “biennials are a difficult idea, conceptually as well as financially, to implement and sustain,” Sean O’Toole wrote recently in Frieze. The first Biennale in Lubumbashi in the DRC — being organised by Sammy Baloji, Patrick Mudekereza...

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

“The intellectual home of the democratic left”

In 2012 the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town turned fifty. That milestone alone demands retrospection and celebration given UWC’s place in South Africa’s higher education set-up. But such celebration also comes with pitfalls: “Histories...

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

The New Yorker covers violence against lesbians in South Africa

Charlayne Hunter-Gault, an African-American reporter based in South Africa, has penned a piece in this week’s New Yorker titled “Violated Hopes” (subscription required) that covers the contentious topic of sexual violence directed against black South African lesbians....

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Preview: London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival

A coincidence? Surely not. At the same time as the Out in Africa festival in South Africa celebrating lesbian and gay film (see earlier post), runs the prestigious London Lesbian and Gay film festival. At this year’s festival,...

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

2011: The Year of the Woman

It was a great year, maybe one of the best ever, for direct action in-the-streets in-your-face pro-democracy movements, and they were largely pushed and pulled by women. Starting with Tunisia, food uprisings spread quickly to Egypt, Algeria,...

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

‘Emerging’ Photographers

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

‘Lesbians Seeing Lesbians’

The South African photographer Zanele Muholi is exhibiting some of her work–at the Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation (26 Wooster Street) as part of an exhibition of contemporary photographers, “Lesbians Seeing Lesbians: Building Community in Early Feminist Photography” Here’s...

Friday, July 29th, 2011

The Bang Bang Club

“The Bang Bang Club,” the Hollywood film about the four real-life white photographers who built their fame taking pictures of political violence in black townships in early 1990s South Africa, was released in South Africa this week....

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

‘Contemporary South African Photography’

A short video profile of the Johannesburg photographer, Sabelo Mlangeni, one of 17 South African photographers in “Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography“, showing from 12 April through 17 July this year at the...

Monday, March 14th, 2011

African women’s visual narratives

If you’re in London, “Reflections on the Self ,” an exhibition of “African women’s visual narratives, as told through self-portraits and portraits of other women,” will be at the Royal Festival Hall till April 4th.  It features the...

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Mary Sibande

The Johannesburg-based artist Mary Sibande who creates life-size sculptures of black women in brightly coloured and elaborate Victorian dresses, is one of two African artists (among 30 plus artists worldwide) awarded the Civitella Ranieri Foundation fellowships “… which every...

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Black Diamonds

Art dealer Michael Stevenson’s 15th annual Summer Exhibition (at the MS Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa) comprises five solo shows, by artists Anton Kannemeyer, Viviane Sassen, Claudette Schreuders, Serge Alain Nitegeka and Hylton Nel: The exhibition...

Monday, December 6th, 2010

L’Expo Photo

The French Fondation Blachère has chosen to feature the work of African photographers Nestor Da, Baldwin Mouanda, François-Xavier Gbré, Zanele Muholi (that’s one of her images above), Mohamed Bourouissa and Uche Iroha-Okpa at the 8th African Photography...

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Anybody can be a maid

With two hundred rand in your pocket you can transform yourself into a maid. If you take your two hundred rand to your local Pick n’ Pay or Shoprite you can buy a maid’s uniform. In the...

Monday, July 26th, 2010

The Pass Office

Monday, July 5th, 2010

‘Pop Culture Politics’

Short video profile of 10 South African artists featured in the exhibition “… For Those Who Live In It: Pop Culture Politics and Strong Voices,” in Eindhoven in the Netherlands (till August 17th). According to the organizers...

Monday, February 15th, 2010

The Meanings of Sara Baartman

My friend, Gabeba Baderoon, is organizing a one-day colloquium on “The Meanings of Saartje (Sara) Baartman,” scheduled for March 1st at Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA. The meeting will focus on Baartman (aka the “Hottentot...

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Homophobia in Africa

“…. In the last six months we have seen the expression of homophobia with the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill; the arrest of gay Malawian couple, Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza, for getting married;  most recently the appointment of...

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Photography, Jodi Beiber and Others

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

“Is there another word you can use instead of lesbian?’

That’s South African Judge, Ratha Mokgoathleng, unable to contain his homophobia, speaking earlier to the prosecutor in the case of the murderers of Eudy Simelane, a lesbian woman brutally raped and murdered in a township outside Johannesburg....

Friday, September 18th, 2009


What it means to be a Black lesbian, to be a gay man or lesbian of any sort, in South Africa and on the continent more generally. South African TV clip focusing on the work of photographer...

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009


New academic text, edited by Jennifer Cole and Lynn M. Thomas, about that stuff most Western journalists don’t write about when they write about Africa.

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