Künstlerinnen der Moderne


Zanele Muholi

Zanele Muholi wurde 1972 in der Republik Südafrika geboren und bezeichnet sich selbst als visuelle:r Aktivist:in und nicht als Künstler:in.

Die Identitätsbezeichnungen, wie sie üblicherweise zur Beschreibung der sexuellen Orientierung verwendet werden, reichen Zanele Muholi nicht aus: „Ich identifiziere mich in dieser Phase aufgrund der Fluidität der Geschlechter als Mensch, um nicht dadurch verwirrt zu werden, was die Gesellschaft von uns erwartet.“ Zanele Muholi verwendet für sich selbst den Personalpronomen „they“ bzw. „them“, wird häufig in der deutschsprachigen Literatur/Artikeln mit „sie“ beschrieben. In diesem Beitrag wird von uns der in Deutschland geläufigste Personalpronomen „xier“ verwendet.

In Zeiten einer vermehrten homophoben Gesetzgebung in afrikanischen Ländern sowie einem Klima der Intoleranz gegenüber Homosexuellen in der westlichen Welt, zeichnet sich Südafrika durch eine Verfassung aus, die zwar die gleichgeschlechtliche Ehe seit 2006 anerkennt, wo jedoch die schwarze LGTBI, die lesbische, schwule, bisexuelle, transsexuelle und intersexuelle Gemeinschaft, von Hassverbrechen heimgesucht wird.

 

Zanele Muholi widmet sich in ihrer mittlerweile international anerkannten Arbeit als Fotograf:in, Filmemacher:in und Aktivist:in der Verbesserung von Sichtbarkeit der schwarzen Lesben, Schwulen, Transgender- und Intersexuellen in Südafrika und anderen afrikanischen Ländern. Durch die Recherche und Dokumentation wird die Geschichte von Hassverbrechen gegen die LGBTQI-Community öffentlich.

Schwarze Lesbierinnen sind dabei in besonderer Weise Gewalt ausgesetzt und werden regelmäßig Opfer von brutalen Morden und sogenannten „heilenden Vergewaltigungen“ (corrective rape) durch Nachbarn oder  sogennante „Freunde“.

Anfangs als Reporter:in für „Behind the Masks“, ein Online-Archiv und Forum für afrikanische LGBT-Aktivisten und LGBT-Rechte in Afrika, entwickelte Muholi 2006 Inkanysio (was auf Zulu “Erleuchtung“ bedeutet), eine digitale Plattform für queere Medien und Aktivismus, als Reaktion auf den Mangel an visuellen Geschichten die von und für LGBTQIA-Personenerstellt wurden.

Die Plattform entwickelte sich innerhalb von drei Jahren zur einer Organisation, die den Mitgliedern der Black LGBTQ + Community in Südafrika, mithilfe einer mobilen Schule für Fotografie die Möglichkeit gibt die Welt um sie herum und ihre Lebenswirklichkeit zu dokumentieren.

„Ich identifiziere mich (...) aufgrund der Fluidität der Geschlechter als Mensch, um nicht dadurch verwirrt zu werden, was die Gesellschaft von uns erwartet.“ - Zanele Muholi

2009 weigerte sich die südafrikanische Ministerin für Kunst und Kultur, Lulu Xingwana, eine Ausstellung mit Fotos von Muholi zu eröffnen. Die Bilder seien unmoralisch, beleidigend und würden nicht der Bildung einer geeinten Nation dienen. Darüber hinaus wurden im Jahr 2012 bei einem Einbruchdiebstahl versteckt gelagerte Festplatten mit wichtigen Teilen Muholis Arbeit gestohlen.

In einem repressiven sozialen und politischen Kontext, der queere Lebensweisen verurteilt, in dem Lesben, Schwule und Trans* häufig diskriminiert und verfolgt werden, stellen xier Arbeiten einen Akt der Selbstbehauptung und des Empowerments dar. Muholis grafische, klassisch aufgebaute Porträts und Selbstporträts, sind immer Repräsentanz der LGBTQI-Community. Sie intervenieren, sind selbst politischer Aktivismus.

 

Wie gelingt es Zanele Muholi Gewalt zu thematisieren, ohne die dargestellten Personen als Opfer darzustellen?

„Die Menschen, die ich fotografiere, sind keine Models. Meine Arbeiten sind tiefgründige Bilder der Menschen und ihrer Existenz. Dieses Spiel zwischen der Kamera und den Menschen und zwischen mir und den Menschen ist für mich das Reizvolle. Für mich haben diese Menschen vor der Kamera mehr Macht als ich. Ich sage ihnen nur, schaut in die Kamera, spielt mit dem Objektiv, verführt es. Ihr macht letztendlich das Bild, ich drücke nur den Knopf.“[1]

Die meist schwarz-weißen, häufig direkten und mutigen Fotografien strahlen eine große Intensität und Würde aus. Der selbstbewusste Blick in die Kamera, die geradezu zärtliche Darstellung der Spuren und von Gewalt hinterlassenen Narben, das Selbstporträt im stilisierten Aufbau, die wenigen Accessoires lenken nicht von der fotografierten Person ab. Es ist die Freiheit der eigenen Entscheidung, die Lautstärke der erhobenen, eigenen Stimme, die in Muholis Arbeiten ihren visuellen Ausdruck findet.



Tate Modern präsentiert die erste große britische Ausstellung der visuellen Aktivistin


Literaturverzeichnis

Being an Artist: Artist Interviews with Art21, New York, 2018. 

dradio.de: Kunstraub in Südafrika. Zanele Muholi bei der Documenta, Abgerufen am 2. Februar 2021. https://www.deutschlandfunk.de/kunstraub-in-suedafrika.807.de.html?dram:article_id=208009 

 

Abbildungsverzeichnis

Abb. 1-6: Tate Modern Museum, 2021. https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/zanele-muholi (Letzter Zugriff am 14.02.2021)

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