Muholi's book claims another award for its daring portrayal of female blackness

Image: Zanele Muholi/ Twitter

Zanele Muholi’s photography book Somnyama Ngonyama: Hail the Dark Lioness has bagged a major international award.

The book won the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation best photography book award at an event held at the Royal Society of Arts in UK on Thursday night.

After being announced the winner, Muholi, who regards herself as a visual activist, said: “I’m reclaiming my blackness, which I feel is continuously performed by the privileged other.”

“I want to thank our publisher and all the writers and contributors who made it possible for this reality... siyabonga zihlobo (I thank you friends).”

Somnyama Ngonyama features self-portraits that explore Muholi’s own image and possibilities as a black woman in today’s global society, and - most important - to speak emphatically in response to contemporary and historical racisms.

“I am producing this photographic document to encourage people to be brave enough to occupy spaces without fear of being vilified ... to teach people about our history, to reclaim it and encourage people to use artistic tools as weapons to fight back”, Muholi said after the book was released.

The Kraszna-Krausz Book Awards are the UK’s leading prizes for books published in the fields of photography and the moving image. Muholi's book has also won the Aperture Book Publisher of the Year at the 2018 Lucie Awards for achievements in photography.

The 16th annual Lucies last year were held at the Carnegie Hall in New York.

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