A group of South African photographers and visual artists is showcasing its work in the United States. The work titled Pride and Loss is currently displayed at the Jenkins Johnson Project Space in Brooklyn, New York.
The exhibition features work by Zanele Muholi, Thembela Dick, Lerato Dumse, Boitumelo Nkopane, Collen Mfazwe, Thembi Mthembu, Lindeka Qampi, Velisa Jara and Lebogang Mashifane.
It focuses on issues affecting members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community.
“Pride and Loss is based on pride as an event which is the pride march that is celebrated every year all around the world at different times where we celebrate being queer, and it also comes at a level of remembrance of those that we have lost,” says Mashifane.
She adds that members of the LGBTI community continue to lose their lives through hate crimes. Listen to Mashifane:
Dumse has also raised her concerns over loss of lives through hate crimes.
“Yes, people still face discrimination from the stares and side glances when you walking down the street, to homophobic utterances spewed by pastors, community leaders, and family members saying homophobic things in the household whenever an LGBT character appears on TV even when they are very much aware that their child is LGBTI. These are all things that we might view as subtle but to be honest the end result will be a contributing factor during a homophobic brutal attack that leaves a young person raped and killed.”
Dumse says the work also serves to give the LGBTI community a voice. “Apart from giving a glimpse into our lives, it also sends a message that it is important for us to tell our own stories and document our own community to own our voices and narratives. Being part of Inkanyiso collective has enabled us to do so.”
Ikanyiso is a non-profit organisation which exposes discrimination against LGBTI community in the country. The exhibition will be on until 23 June.