Queering The Gaze is a combined exhibition of the works of the acclaimed photographers Zanele Muholi and Mikael Owunna which addresses queer African and Afro-diasporic realities and identities.
In many African countries, sexual minorities are criminalised, and questions around LGBTIQ* remain a taboo or are simply negated. The dominant European view on African societies, on the other hand, commonly ignores the political efforts and complex histories of sexual diversity in Africa and tends to perceive them through the prism of Western feminist interventions.
In the internationally acclaimed portrait series „Faces and Phases“, South African artist Muholi focuses her lens on the lives of Black lesbian women in different African countries, while Nigerian-Swedish photographer Owunna for his project „Limit(less)“ portrayed Afro-diasporic queer individuals in Europe and the USA.
alpha nova & galerie futura and Heinrich Böll Stiftung present selected works of both artists, that make visible African and Afro-diasporic expressions of sexual diversity.
Those portrayed by Muholi and Owunna effortlessly combine different identities and identifications and defy any stereotypical representations. Instead, the images convey an empathetic euphoria and by being materially present, explicitly and causally create a lasting impact on the viewer.
Both artists understand their works as visual activisms for the empowerment of queer Blacks and People of Colour. By connecting them with their own queer experiences, their works represent strong visuals of emancipation.