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‘My story deserves to be told’ – what Qatar could learn from Zanele Muholi’s LGBTQ+ portraits

As the World Cup kicks off in repressive Qatar, where same-sex sexual activity is illegal, Muholi’s moving, dignified photographs of marginalised South Africans feel more urgent than ever ‘My mission,” Zanele Muholi has said, “is to re-write a Black queer and trans visual history of South Africa, for the world to know of our resistance and existence”. With photographs that range from small to colossal, this self-proclaimed “visual activist” captures people in their communities, people who have often been subjected to violence because of their sexuality. Muholi tells their marginalised stories. Born in 1972, Muholi grew up in South Africa during apartheid, and was a young adult when the brutal system came to an end in 1994. This was meant to usher in a new era of political and social progress: the 1996 Constitution of the Republic of South Africa banned all discrimination on grounds of gender and sexuality. Ten years later, the country legalised same-sex marriage, the only one to do so in the entire African continent. Yet queer communities still face injustices daily, from abuse to much worse. Continue reading...

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