Zanele Muholi: Of Love & Loss (2014) - Currently showing at Stevenson Gallery in Johannesberg (South Africa) from 14 February - 4 April 2014.
The opening coincides with the presentation of a prestigious Prince Claus Award to Muholi.
In times of increasingly homophobic legislation enacted by African countries and in a climate of intolerance towards homosexuals in the Western world, South Africa distinguishes itself with a Constitution that recognises same-sex marriages; yet the black LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) community is plagued by hate crimes. Black lesbians are particularly vulnerable and are regularly victims of brutal murders and ‘curatives rapes’ at the hand of neighbours or ‘friends’.
Since 2013 Muholi has been documenting weddings and funerals in the black LGBTI community in South Africa, joyful and painful events that often seem to go hand in hand. The show features photographs, video works and an installation highlighting how manifestations of sorrow and celebration bear similarities and are occasions to underline the need for a safe space to express individual identities.
As Muholi writes:Ayanda Magoloza and Nhlanhla Moremi’s wedding in Katlehong took place four months after Duduzile Zozo was murdered in Thokoza. Promise Meyer and Gift Sammone’s wedding in Daveyton took place on 22 December in Daveyton, 15 days after Maleshwane Radebe was buried in Ratanda. Six months earlier, Ziningi and Delisile Ndlela were married in Chesterville, Durban. Many in the area attended the ceremony, blessed the newlywed couple and prayed for them and their children. We long for such blessings as we continue to read about the trials and tribulations that LGBTI persons experience in their churches, where homosexuality is persecuted. In 2014, when South African democracy celebrates its 20 years, it seems more important than ever to raise again our voice against hate crimes and discriminations made towards the LGBTI community.
The exhibition includes also a series of autobiographical images, intimate portraits of Muholi and her partner taken during their travels, a tender counterpoint to the tension still generated in South Africa today by same-sex and interracial relationships.
"I just really like to draw disney princesses"
*forgets tiana but includes rapunzel merida elsa scrappy doo and a honda civic*
The whole process does something rather particular: It creates the illusion of an “independent” understanding within the larger implications of corporate intervention in defining a food’s background. In establishing a perimeter of commercial values based on social responsibility, Whole Foods depoliticizes us. Worse, for those already sinking into the hybrid life of a world without politics, it offers a parachute, a sort of immunity: “I shop here so, by extension, I know a thing or two about social awareness.”
Whole Foods unavoidably widens the gap between people who have everything and people who have nothing: How can super expensive foods that look like an invention of Edward Weston’s camera - that the majority of the world cannot afford, or would laugh about - be synonymous with social responsibility? This is truly a modern enigma.
The recent situation with quinoa, the “hot” and “trendy” new grain that we are suddenly unable to live without - and without which we are suddenly missing essential nutrients to keep us alive - is case in point. Paola Flores, filing for the AP from La Paz, Bolivia, reports that “[t]he scramble to grow more (quinoa) is prompting Bolivian farmers to abandon traditional land management practices, endangering the fragile ecosystem of the arid highlands, agronomists say.” A quinoa emergency, then, at the bulk bins. A separate exposé published in the Guardian goes even further: “[T]here is an unpalatable truth to face for those of us with a bag of quinoa in the larder. The appetite of countries such as ours for this grain has pushed up prices to such an extent that poorer people in Peru and Bolivia, for whom it was once a nourishing staple food, can no longer afford to eat it. Imported junk food is cheaper. In Lima, quinoa now costs more than chicken.” Whether we blame vegans or hipsters or the organic food movement or a lack of appropriate trade regulations, the troubling truth about quinoa represents that repetitive drama between the West and rest in which our voracious consumption depletes yet another land and another people.
Whole Foods widens the gaps, and it does so in the most subtle and displacing manner, giving us an environment (the actually sanitized, spotless physical space) that is the embodiment of an elite (yet perceived as “open,” especially through the chain’s less pricey “360” product line) that finds itself at home within a soulless, sterilized experiences. The notion of gentrification has been surpassed, attaining the space of a perennial state of mind. This is where even an apple turns into an object/jewelry of desire, not of need, or at least of normality. In that sense, Whole Foods is simply the last piece in the long, familiar chain of shifting perceptions in neo-capitalistic societies that exploded after the Second World War, in which the creation and multiplication of desires is central to the self-preservation of the system.
sievish asked: When I talk about how society often questions rape allegations and makes a spectacle of the survivor, my boyfriend and I always end up in an argument. He says that he hates the way I completely ignore the fact that there are in fact false rape allegations (because he had one friend who was falsely accused and apparently all his friends are upstanding gentlemen who never ever contribute to patriarchal objectification of women!) that ruin lives. He get angrier at the fact that... (1/2)
that I don’t think it’s something to angry about, that I’m not considering both sides. But why should I considering both sides when one side is just so clearly worse than the other, and one side contributes to harmful structures? How the fuck do I make him understand? He only listens to me about social justice when he’s high, but I want him to fucking get it sober We had originally gotten in the argument because I said that people don’t take the word rape seriously enough and joking about it is what perpetuates this— he said that he doesn’t know a single person who doesn’t take rape seriously. I’m like, that’s cool, but SOCIETY doesn’t. Then he gets angry I’m generalizing and not including the guys that are falsely accused blah blah blah.
So here’s what I don’t get: if it’s just totally normal for most people to doubt the victim because of false accusations, then how does it happen that these alleged liars are taken seriously enough to be able to ruin any lives in the first place, let alone succeeding in doing it so often that treating all rape victims as liars seems justified?
Chances are good that his one friend (isn’t it weird how they always seem to know a guy?) wasn’t falsely accused at all. How would he know, anyway? I highly doubt he was there. And yet, here he is, standing by his friend, and I’m betting all his other friends are doing the same. This guy likely still has his job, and is thought of as “that poor guy who was falsely accused of rape by some crazy bitch” rather than “that rapist piece of shit”.
It’s funny how ignoring something that happens hardly ever to focus on something that happens often is somehow a huge failing on your part, but people ignoring something that happens all the time to focus on something that really doesn’t is fine by him. It’s also funny that he’s okay with generalizing when it comes to victims, but gets angry when you do the same to rapists. It’s almost like all he needs to do is look in a mirror to find someone who doesn’t take rape seriously…
And when he looks in the mirror, let’s hope he also sees a guy who just got dumped over it.
- Mod D.