about the exhibition | about the artists | text | poem
Self portrait by Lindeka Qampi
Zanele Muholi (Photo: Lindeka Qampi)
Lerato in Oslo, june 2015 (foto: Collen Mfazwe)
Collen Mfaswe (photo: Lerato Dumse)
Christie van Zyl (photo: Collen Mfaswe)
Bios & Artist statements
#VACEP [Visual Activism and Cultural Exchange Project]
My name is Lindeka Qampi derived from Linda which means to be patient - I use the same approach for my documentation process. My eye is always attracted by my experiences, feelings, emotions and my expression through the lens. Photography came by accident. My family background makes it easier to communicate with all ages, traditions and different cultures through my lens. We as a family - Inkanyiso media, play a big role in the fight against homophobia, xenophobia amongst our black Africans and the fight for equal rights for all. We are using Visual Activism as a tool for abolishing rape and murder within the LGBTI movement in our communities. We are all one family crying together, sharing awareness and fighting crime through photography as a tool of activism. I capture different daily lives in different communities of Cape Town in order for us to share our lives and be happy in all situations. The home is a major tool for showing government their lack of awareness of the limited space around our communities, as the home is a necessity for all. Learning and activism play a big role towards a better nation and breaking down the syndrome of judging each other. Sharing time as a historical documentation for the future.
Zanele Muholi is a visual activist who tries to bring light to the importance of black lesbian women in South Africa. Through her artistic approach she hopes to capture the journey of the African queer community so that one day future generations can look back and be able to see all that they went through. She tries to capture the moment without viewing any negativity or violence but yet portrays the LGBTI community as a whole to help bring the community and non LGBTI persons together. Muholi's self-proclaimed mission is 'to re-write a black queer and trans visual history of South Africa for the world to know of our resistance and existence at the height of hate crimes in SA and beyond'.
Lerato Dumse aka RT. My name is Lerato meaning love. It was given to me by my mother, and when I asked why? She says it’s because she loved me deeply and wanted me to experience love in my life. It is 27years later and I still have a lot of love in my life including intimate love for women, leading to society throwing me in one category and limiting my identity to “Lerato the lesbian”. I refuse to be defined by people who don’t know where I come from, where I am and where I’m headed. I love helping others, which puts activism top of my love list. Activism which includes but not limited to LGBTI issues, women and children’s issues because my family consists of six women making me a loved daughter, sister and mam’ncane (aunt). I also have an immense love for writing; which motivated me to study journalism as that also provides a good platform for activism. I grew up in very hard socio economic circumstances, but with the Love and blessing of God I have been fortunate enough to be able to study and would like to use this education to help those still faced with those circumstances.
Collen Mfazwe a 27 year old photographer/activist. Photography and I are like nails on fingers, we are stuck together. I started photography mid-2013, this was when my work started to be featured on public platforms. I never thought photography would become my profession because I studied accounting at school, so thought I would be a business person. Now photography is my life. I make a living off my photography shooting public events. Emotionally and mentally photography keeps me calm, it is my form of therapy. When I have a lot of problems, taking photographs relieves me of my stress – photography is my counsellor. I take photographs because I see it as a necessity to communicate with the world through arts. I want to use photographs to make history informing the world of what is happening in other parts of the world; capturing the struggles that we go through in our everyday lives. Photography is my life saver, it has made me realise that I am capable of doing things I never thought I would do. Photography has taught me to be responsible for myself and others. I am defined by my hard work and I always appreciate people who support me. I don’t appreciate people who compare me with others, because our angles of vision will never be the same. I will always respect other photographers and their work.
Christie van Zyl
Christie van Zyl or ‘FossilSoul’ as she is affectionately known in poetry circles. I am a writer, a documenter/archivist, an activist and a spoken word poet/performance artist. My work is centralized on feminism and the existence of black, queer beings. I speak on feminism from a place of bleeding emotionally as well as physically. Based on an oppression of my womanhood evident in the taboo state of affairs surrounding my menstruation - society’s distaste for menstruation. ‘If condoms are free because sex is natural, why in the world are we paying for pads – my menstruation is the most biological part of me’. I speak on my black, queer, female and even artistic existence; as a woman who still suffers violent silencing(s) – as a young black lesbian who can be killed any minute for having a choice, for having a voice and mostly for daring to exist.