It was one of those occasions when you feel like you needed to go to the mall. Maybe have coffee in one of the cool places there or simply walk to Exclusive Books to read a book as your enjoy your coffee, or simply just be out of your home for some fresh air.
Whatever the reason. In fact it is not time to meet with friends, lovers or business associates, but just to be you and your time while you are listening to your thoughts or nothing at all really. But you know you do not need company for sure and you are hoping that you are not going to bump on anybody you cannot ignore. I mean you know those moments. Right?
I was in that element on Monday when I saw familiar faces, but as usual when you are under that state I have just described, you see them, but you do not at the same time. You are simply in your element of solitude, ironically in a crowded place like The Zone in Rosebank.
“Hi Eddie. I can see you,” the voice that I have known for close to two decades, since from the time when Zanele Muholi was a young person trying to find their foot and voice in the photography field, was quite clear. It sounded more like admonishing than a greeting that how dare I did not seem to see Zanele, in the company of a well-known photographer and someone else who looked like a fan or someone inspired by the work that Zanele has done as an activist photographer, who at the risk of erasing other people who have raised their voice equally about the issues of the LGBTQ people in general and lesbians in particular through her visual voice, has single-handedly become the fore most visual face of activism against societal prejudice, hate and even violence against this generally marginalised community.
Well, to cut a long story short, she told me about her recently opened exhibition at the upmarket Red Radisson Blue Hotel at Oxford Park in Rosebank and how that exhibition is one of the most important, If not the most important of her several exhibitions so far in South Africa and globally.
Well because I was in my element and everybody’s element for that matter under the circumstances, I was not ready to immerse myself in something outside my realm at that moment. I did not accept the invitation to go and see the exhibition right away. I however promised to go and watch it come Tuesday, September 6, 2022. Boy, I was enchanted.
I could not stop- snapping these images that are expertly curated in the hotel reception and the restaurant area to give the place a sophisticated ambience. As I went about my business I wondered what the curious diners in the restaurant must have been thinking.
Maybe one of the collectors. These images that are self-portraits of Zanele, represent the different moods of the famous photographer, who is now iconised and celebrated throughout the world, with an honorary professorship and an honorary doctorate behind her name from prestigious institutions globally.
She is today a global trotter changing planes in major capitals of the world and sleeping in several hotels globally she may have lost the count, and getting invited to conferences to talk about her activism and art practice. In fact Zanele left for Italy on Tuesday, September 6, 2022, to yet another engagement with audiences about a subject of the photographer’s passion.
Zanele has focussed consistently on photography activism for years now. I will not spoil it for you but instead encourage you to watch the exhibition, which is currently on. In the meantime you can have a peak into the exhibition through these images I took and make up your own mind about what you think about them..