In 2006, South Africa became the fifth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. While social justice activists around the world saw this event as a tremendous victory, the country was still in a lot of turmoil. Homophobic hate crimes and violence were on the rise, and many individuals reported being subject to “curative rape,” a hate crime in which someone is raped to “cure” them of their sexual identity. It was in this heated moment that LGBTI activist and photographer Zanele Muholi began an ongoing project called “Faces and Phases,” that aims to create positive images of black lesbians and trans individuals in South Africa.
Host Frank Stasio talks with Muholi about how the project has evolved in the past 10 years, and what her philosophy is as a visual historian and activist. He also talks with Muholi’s colleague, Lerato Dumse. Ten of Muholi’s images are on view at the North Carolina Museum of Art through January 8, 2017. She will deliver an artist talk tonight at 7 p.m. The lecture is sold out, but overflow seating is available in an adjacent auditorium.