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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Queer knowledge and the politics of the gaze in contemporary South African photography: Zanele Muholi and others
Author:Van der Vlies, AndrewISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Cultural Studies (ISSN 1369-6815)
Geographic term:South Africa
About person:Zanele MuholiISNI
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13696815.2012.697647
Abstract:This article is concerned chiefly with work by the contemporary South African lesbian photographer and activist Zanele Muholi, drawing some comparisons with photographs by Sabelo Mlangeni and Lunga Kama. All of these photographers are concerned with the visibility of sexual minorities, the politics of the gaze, the construction of archives, the role of photography that is activist, and the generation of new ideas about community and citizenship. Muholi's work, in particular, speaks to tensions between the body politic and the biopolitics of the black body, the autochthonous subject of tradition and the queer agent of utopian possibility. In teasing out some of the complexities of these tensions and their implications for audiences of the photographs, this article considers thematic concerns and formal attributes of a number of works. It interrogates, too, their implications for thinking about queer futurity in the postcolony, and what their reception reveals about the judgement and tolerance of the new custodians of national cultural identities in South Africa. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]