Zanele Muholi

Artist Zanele Muholi Receives Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters

South African photographer and self-described “visual activist” Zanele Muholi is the recipient of France’s Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters, one of the country’s highest honors, writes Anny Shaw of the Art Newspaper.

Muholi is being recognized for her singular artistic contributions to French culture and the world. She has spent her life documenting South Africa’s LGBTQIA community. She is also a cofounder of the Forum of Empowerment of Women, and the creator of Inkanyiso, a stage for artistic and queer activism.

“We work hard to create content that scholars and the rest of the world are able to use to highlight the many challenges faced by the LGBT communities,” said Muholi to the South African newspaper the New Age. “We might not be on television and reported about widely, and when the reporting comes we are reported carelessly and haphazardly. For us, it is important to make sure that we unite the LGBT community so that people know we exist as professionals and as creators of great content.”