Opening Zanele Muholi
7 Jul 2017

Exhibition galleries, Audi Zaal 0.1
8 - 10 pm
Free with registration


For the opening of South African photographer and visual activist Zanele Muholi’s first solo museum exhibition in the Netherlands (July 8 – October 15, 2017), the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam presents a vocal performances by musician, vocalist, and composer Annalyzer and a poetry reading by writer Phila Mbanjwa.


 8:00 pm      arrivals
 8:15 pm      opening speech by director Beatrix Ruf | Audi gallery 0.1
 8:20 pm      speech curator Hripsimé Visser, Audi Zaal 0.1
 8:25 pm      poetry reading by Phila Mbanjwa | Audi gallery 0.1
 8:35 pm      performance by Annalyzer | Audi gallery 0.1             
 10:00pm      museum closes

Zanele Muholi is a photographer and visual activist based in Johannesburg, educated in advanced photography (Market Photo Workshop in Newtown, Johannesburg) and holding an MFA in documentary media (Ryerson University, Toronto). Over the years, she has captured images of the black lesbian and transgender community in South Africa, stressing the dignity of the individuals she photographs. Thus Muholi creates a body of work characterized by strong contrasts, inventive use of objects, and striking lighting. Hair, apparel, and presentation are often manipulated in her images. Her arresting, powerful, and sometimes witty images represent a community that – despite being constitutionally protected since 1996 – continues to face persecution based on racism and enforcement of gender norms, and speak to current debates about stigmatization and stereotyping.

The Stedelijk Museum presents a selection of photographic works from the series Somnyama Ngonyama, Faces and Phases, and Brave Beauties. For the opening of the exhibition, Muholi personally selected the two performers to celebrate her debut museum solo presentation in the Netherlands.


Indigenous Afro
Anelisa “Annalyzer” Stuurman is a musician, vocalist, composer, and actress, born and raised in Sterkspruit in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. As a choral singer fusing indigenous Xhosa chants with expressive and rhythmic vocals on reverberating basslines, Annalyzer uses the traditional Xhosa dance "ukuxhensta" to enact and interpret the feel of her sounds into modern beats such as dubstep, trap, and hip hop, adding Nguni tribal elements.

Phila Mbanjwa
The Walk of the Lioness
Philile “Phila” Mbanjwa is a writer born in Dambuza, a settlement just outside Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Her work includes poetry, scripts, and short stories inspired by life, love experiences, and daily social occurrences. Mbanjwa performs The Walk of the Lioness, a poem that ruminates on the walk of an African woman, and chronicles her struggles and her beauty from her crown to her toes. Mbanjwa says, “I have found peace through these words from my heart. I have seen lives ended and dreams shattered. Promising futures wasted by wrong decisions that felt right but were in fact wrong decisions. While some stories remain untold… How can you listen to silence?”


The Stedelijk Contemporary presentations in 2017 are made possible in part by the generous support of main benefactor Ammodo, as well as the International Collector Circle and the Curator Circle.