December 9th, 2013

Photogs Richard Mosse and Zanele Muholi Named Top “Global Thinkers” by Foreign Policy

Two photographers, Richard Mosse and Zanele Muholi, made Foreign Policy (FP) magazine’s list of “The Leading Global Thinkers of 2013.” The list of 100 people Foreign Policy chose to single out in its hefty digital feature includes Edward Snowden, John Kerry, Elon Musk, The Pope, Rand Paul, scientists, innovators, politicians and artists.

FP cited Mosse for “seeing war through a new lens.” His pink-hued images of military and militia in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, created using now-discontinued Kodak Aerochrome film developed for the U.S. Military, have captivated audiences through their unusually esthetic interpretation of a conflict-ridden landscape and population. FP notes that Mosse’s film, “The Enclave,” “stole the show” at the 2103 Venice Biennale.

Mosse’s works “are allowing viewers to see conflict in a way they never imagined they could,” FP writes.

Zanele Muholi, a South African artist, has documented the black LGBT community in her country through striking black-and-white portraits. FP singles Muholi out “for photographing hidden lives,” and notes that her work has been widely published and exhibited, bringing much-needed awareness to the gulf between the legal rights of LGBT South Africans and their actual treatment in their communities.

FP divided their list of Global Thinkers into groups that included “Artists,” “Advocates,” “Challengers” and “Decision-Makers” among others. Mosse and Muholi are considered “Chroniclers,” people who, FP says, “[show] us novel ways of understanding the world and our place in it.”

Related: Theft of South African Photog’s Work May Be Attempt to Silence Her
Field Studies: Exploring the Complexities of War-Torn Congo

May 16th, 2012

Theft of South African Photog’s Work May Be Attempt to Silence Her

Burglars broke into the Cape Town, South Africa, apartment of award-winning photographer Zanele Muholi and stole more than 20 external hard drives and other computer equipment, according to a report in the Cape Times.

Muholi has documented the lives of black lesbians in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Uganda, and has received awards and recognition in South Africa and abroad.

According to reports, hard drives and computers containing her archive of still photographs and video footage, representing more than five years’ worth of work, were the only things stolen from the apartment, fueling speculation that the theft was a targeted attempt to silence an artist who has been as controversial as she has been celebrated. Among the contents of the stolen hard drives were photographs of the funerals of lesbians killed in hate crimes.

The theft occurred on April 20 and the investigation is said to be ongoing.

Muholi did back up her work, but the back-up hard drives were kept in the same apartment and were also stolen, she told the Cape Times. The theft is a tragic reminder of the benefit of storing archives and backups in more than one location.