Portraits of South Africa's Lesbian Community
Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg

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The Photo Issue 2016

Portraits of South Africa's Lesbian Community

Zanele Muholi's portraits use firsthand accounts to document the experience of living in a country that constitutionally protects the rights of LGBTI people, but often fails to defend them from targeted violence.

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In her series "Faces and Phases," South African photographer Zanele Muholi shot portraits of over 200 members of South Africa's lesbian community, a process that took years. The series uses firsthand accounts to document the experience of living in a country that constitutionally protects the rights of LGBTI people, but often fails to defend them from targeted violence. The photos here combine images from "Faces and Phases" with self-portraits.

Somandla, Parktown, 2014. © Zanele Muholi. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Sharon Shez Mthunzi, Daveyton, Johannesburg, 2013. © Zanele Muholi. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Zibuyile I, Syracuse, 2015. © Zanele Muholi. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Sharon "Shaz" Mthunzi, Daveyton, Johannesburg, 2014. © Zanele Muholi. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg.