"These feel like images you might have dreamed, both of the kind that slip away and the ones you manage to keep tenuously in your grasp, slippery, otherworldly. . . . Before our eyes, Zanele Muholi transforms into a mother, a domestic worker, an Afrofuturist, an oracle. It's fiction and it is not."--Yrsa Daley-Ward, The New York Times Book Review
With more than twenty written contributions from curators, poets, and authors, alongside luxurious tritone reproductions of Muholi's images, Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness is as much a manifesto of resistance as it is an autobiographical, artistic statement.
Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness is the long-awaited monograph from one of the most powerful visual activists of our time. The book features over ninety of Muholi's evocative self-portraits, each image drafted from material props in Muholi's immediate environment. A powerfully arresting collection of work, Muholi's radical statements of identity, race, and resistance are a direct response to contemporary and historical racisms. As Muholi states, "I am producing this photographic document to encourage individuals in my community to be brave enough to occupy spaces--brave enough to create without fear of being vilified. . . . To teach people about our history, to rethink what history is all about, to reclaim it for ourselves--to encourage people to use artistic tools such as cameras as weapons to fight back."