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Zanele Muholi: Faces and Phases

October 1, 2016–January 8, 2017
North Carolina Museum of Art

Faces and Phases features 10 photographs by internationally acclaimed South African photographer and self-described “visual activist” Zanele Muholi, from her ongoing series of the same title.

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Muholi’s work is rooted in social justice and advocacy, and she sees herself equally as an activist and photographer. Through her deeply personal portraits, she strives to present positive images of individuals often confronted by others’ assumptions, stereotypes, and prejudices regarding race, sexuality, and identity. Her subjects look straight at the camera (and the viewer): openly, defiantly, shyly, proudly. “This is not art, this is life,” says Muholi. ”Each and every photograph is someone’s biography.”

This exhibition is made possible by the Cyma Rubin Photography Fund. 

Zanele Muholi, Mbala Zulu, KwaThema, Springs, Johannesburg, 2010, 2010, printed 2014, gelatin-silver print, 30 x 20 in., Purchased with funds from the Friends of African and African American Art, © 2010 Zanele Muholi, image courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery 

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