Zanele Muholi captures powerful portraits of South Africa’s LGBT community

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06/16/2019

Last week, Botswana’s High Court made history when it overturned colonial-era laws criminalizing consensual same-sex relations. The ruling, which came mere weeks after Kenya’s High Court ruled to uphold its own 19th-century laws criminalizing “carnal knowledge against the order of nature,” is being seen as a landmark victory for LGBTQ activists across the continent. The significance of the Botswana ruling hasn’t been lost on South African photographer and self-described “visual activist” Zanele Muholi. For almost 20 years, Muholi, who uses gender-neutral pronouns (including “they” and “their”), has documented black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex South Africans, many of whom have suffered homophobic violence, oppression and erasure in their communities.

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