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Photo Essay: Of Love and Loss

Photo Essay: Of Love and Loss

Exposing deep contrasts in the lives of black lesbians in South Africa: images of weddings and funerals in a famed photographer’s home country.

In  2013, after years of documenting her community, award-winning photographer and activist Zanele Muholi turned her lens to weddings and funerals in the black LBGT community in her home country of South Africa. These joyful and painful events often seem to go hand in hand in a country distinguished by a constitution that recognizes same-sex marriages, yet marked by the incredible violence that plagues black queer communities. Lesbians are particularly vulnerable and are regularly victims of brutal murders and “curative rapes” at the hands of neighbors and friends.

These images evoke death but also suggest the cycle of life as morning follows night. Life and death, love and hate are some of the antitheses that appear throughout her work.

Muholi’s first major American exhibition, “Zanele Muholi: Isiboneloo /Evidence,” will be on display at the Brooklyn Museum from May 1 – November 1, 2015.

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