Zanele Muholi Somnyama Ngonyama Artist Newspaper
Published by Autograph ABP
Published to coincide with a solo exhibition at Autograph ABP, this issue is dedicated to South African visual activist Zanele Muholi’s ongoing self-portrait series Somnyama Ngonyama (Hail the Dark Lioness).
Taken in Europe, North America, Asia and Africa between 2014 and 2017, each portrait in Somnyama Ngonyama poses critical questions about social justice, human rights and contested representations of the black body.
Critically engaged, self-reflective, and psychologically charged, Zanele Muholi’s black and white portraits are unapologetic in their directness as she explores different archetypes and personae, offering visual reflections inspired by personal experiences and socio-political events. Gazing defiantly at the camera, Muholi continually challenges the viewer’s perceptions while firmly asserting her cultural identity on her own terms: African, black, female.
This newspaper features more than 70 images – many published here for the first time - an extensive in-conversation between artist and curator, and twenty newly commissioned texts by a host of international scholars, curators, writers, artists, and activists.
Featuring contributions by:
Ajamu, Nana Adusei-Poku, Karen Alexander, Ama Josephine Budge, Christine Eyene, Tamar Garb, Mapula Lehong, Napo ‘Popo’ Masheane, Mohale Mashigo, Irene Fubara-Manuel, Bongani Madondo, Jackie Mondi, Hlonipha Mokoena, Renée Mussai, Pumelela Nqelenga, Oluremi C. Onabanjo, Ingrid Pollard, Skye Skyetshookii, Ruti Talmor and Robert Taylor.
Edited by Renée Mussai, Senior Curator and Head of Archive and Research at Autograph ABP.