Geotema 53

Giulia de Spuches

Sguardi di genere nel Sud Africa post-apartheid, Zanele Muholi e le immagini del mancante

Abstract: A gendered gaze in post apartheid South Africa: Zanele Muholi and the missing images

In June 2013 Palermo held the National Gay Pride. The opening of the manifestation was the solo photographic exhibition of Zanele Muholi. 25 photos of Being (2007), 21 of Faces & Phases (2009) and Caitilin and I (2009) are the corpus that this article wants to examine inside the main event of Palermo’s Gay Pride. The paper presents how Muholi’s works overturn the act of seeing by representing the image of the missing: exhibits how the invisible lesbian body is problematized the local and national South African space (and not only that); it shows how the spatial exclusion of the not-disciplined bodies make visible the divisions of the spatial and gendered relations. The long story of the women as photographical objects is challenged by the courageous act of resistance of these women that show their agency in their representations: an archive to (r)exist and to fi ght the strong discrimination even in front of the existence of a “progressive” South African Bill of Rights. Muholi’s photographs in the National Italian Gay Pride unveil the difference between acting and seeing. Italy struggles to defend rights avoiding the dirty reverse of the coin: the omo/transphobic violences.

Keywords: Gender, Gay Pride, South Africa, Violence