Born in 1972 in Umlazi, Durban, South Africa.
Lives and works in Cape Town.
Muholi worked as a human / lesbian rights activist with members in LGBTI community, raising the many issues facing black lesbian women living in SA. In 2002, she co-founded the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW), a black lesbian organization based in Gauteng, dedicated to providing a safe space for women loving women to meet and organize. Muholi completed a course at the Market Photo Workshop in 2003. She then studied, between 2007-2009, for her MFA: Documentary Media at Ryerson University in Toronto, producing a thesis that maps the visual history of black lesbian identity and politics in post-apartheid SA. In 2009, received a Fanny Ann Eddy accolade from IRN-Africa for her contributions to the study and advocacy of sexualities in Africa. She was also the Casa Africa at the Rencontres de Bamako, and at the Casa Africa Award for best female photographer living in Africa. Two books have been published on her work: Only Half the Picture (2006) and Faces & Phases (2010).
Zanele Muholi presented her work at the Rencontres d’Arles in 2012, nominated by John Fleetwood for the Discovery Award: So they have eyes to see at the Atelier de Mécanique. She also took part in the collective exhibition Transition, Social landscapes at the Atelier de Mécanique.
Zanele Muholi. Courtesy of the artist.