Collection Online

Ntozkhe II (Parktown)
from the Somnyama Ngonyama series 2015–16

gelatin silver photograph
(99.0 × 74.0 cm) (image)
Place/s of Execution
South Africa
Accession Number
International Photography
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Bowness Family Fund for Photography, 2017
© Zanele Muholi. Courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson, New York
Gallery location
Not on display
About this work

Zanele Muholi describes themself as a visual activist, recently opting to use the pronoun ‘they’, referring to themself gender neutrally to challenge the historical limitations of seeing gender in solely binary terms. Muholi began making work to great international acclaim with images of gender-queer figures in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Somnyama Ngonyama translates to ‘Hail the dark lioness’ and is the first work by Muholi in which they presented themself as model. Muholi has manipulated the appearance of their skin to appear as a deep, intense black. Discussing this, they wrote: ‘By exaggerating the darkness of my skin tone, I’m reclaiming my blackness’.