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Saturday, 7 May 2011

Reflections on the Self - Five African Women Photographers



If you were like me and you weren't in the country for the touring exhibition Reflections on the Self at Southbank London. Then you also missed out on the photo exhibition which presented women’s visual narratives, as told through self-portraits and portraits of other women. 

Then fear not here's a little recap of the women photographers and some of their photo's. Reflections on the Self is curated by Christine Eyene. She is Curator of Gwanza, Month of Photography 2011, Zimbabwe, and the African section of Photoquai 2011, Biennial of World Images, Musée du Quai Branly, Paris. The exhibition forms part of Southbank Centre’s Women of the World – WOW, a three-day Festival, (11-13 March) celebrating and promoting women.



The other talented photographers involved are:
Hélène Amouzou (b. 1969) created her series of self-portraits, 'Between the Wallpaper and the Wall', during a ten year period whilst she was in limbo in Belgium waiting for her identity papers. Using double-exposure and movement to blur or dissolve her image, she leaves ghostly traces that seem on the verge of disappearance. The empty suitcase, her only prop, becomes a symbol of her precarious existence.
Majida Khattari (b. 1966) is an artist, designer and photographer who challenges the stigma of the veil and preconceived ideas about Muslim women in France. In her new series, she explores sensuality and desire, evoking Orientalist paintings by artists such as Delacroix, and making visual play with the veiled or partially concealed body.
Zanele Muholi's (b. 1972) work looks at women's experiences and histories, particularly black lesbian identities. She made the two series of work featured in this show, Miss Lesbian and Being (T)here, in collaboration with photographer Sean Fitzpatrick during her residency at the Thami Mnyele Foundation in Amsterdam in 2009. Her work has been shown widely across the world and will feature in the V&A's exhibition 'Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography' in the summer of 2011.
Senayt Samuel (b. 1969) settled in London in 2002 after her family's deportation from Ethiopia. The series in this exhibition consists of self-portraits exploring the notion of framing and mirrored reflections, both as an art-historical device and as a means of defining the parameters of identity. Her work was included in Tate Britain's 2008 exhibition 'Imagine Art After'.
Nontsikelelo Veleko (b. 1977) currently lives and works in Johannesburg. Her signature
images captured alternative youth fashion in contemporary South Africa, focusing on funky and provocative street style. They featured in the 2006 exhibition 'Snap Judgments' in New York, curated by Okwui Enwezor and will be included in 'Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography' at the V&A in 2011.
I do hope the exhibition comes back on tour again, did any one go?

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