Zanele Muholi, Bester I, 2015, self portrait, Mayotte. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Zanele Muholi, Bona, 2015, self portrait, Charlottesville. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Zanele Muholi, Somnyama Ngonyama I, 2014, self portrait, Paris. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Zanele Muholi, Lungile Cleo Dladla, 2011, KwaThema Community Hall, Springs, Johannesburg. Part of the 8-year collaborative project Faces and Phases. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Philadelphia Photo Arts Center (PPAC) will bring South African photographer Zanele Muholi to Philadelphia for an 18-month residency and exhibition considering questions of gender, identity, agency, and representation. Muholi’s first major US-based project, The Women's Mobile Museum reimagines a museum as a collaborative, mobile exhibition space “wherein women’s social and economic equity are a central tenet for the transformative experience of participants and audiences,” PPAC says. Muholi will work with a diverse group of 10 Philadelphia women to develop photography and visual storytelling skills that will empower the women to tell their own stories through self-portraits and portraits of women in the participants’ lives. Following the training period, the group will prepare a temporary, transportable gallery that will hold participants’ and Muholi’s work. The mobile museum will tour to community centers in Philadelphia’s Point Breeze and Juanita Park neighborhoods, inviting the public to see the work and engage with the artists. The project will culminate in a spring 2019 exhibition at PPAC, encompassing the complete body of work produced during the residency, and accompanied by a publication co-designed by the core artists.