In this self-portrait, South African visual activist Zanele Muholi meets the viewer’s gaze. Using everyday subject matter to explore social and political issues—in this case, hair— They confront stereotypes about Africaneity in ways that center their black queer female identity.
In making the photographic series Hail, the Dark Lioness, which includes this work, Muholi increased the contrast in their self-portraits to comment on representation and perceptions of the black body. They state, *I’m reclaiming my blackness, which I feel is continuously performed by the privileged other. My reality is that I do not mimic being black; it is my skin, and the experience of being black is deeply entrenched in me. . . . We should speak without fear.”
Label compartment lower right corner on verso; flap opens to show printed label