All-women exhibition shines spotlight on female photographers
Photojournalist Fulufhelo Mobadi’s passion for highlighting women’s everyday struggles through her work has led her to an exhibition set to give a platform to some of the country’s emerging black female photographers.
In partnership with the French Institute of South Africa, the She Bad Bad exhibition was curated by Mobadi as a celebration of some of the country’s top talent.
Mobadi selected 11 artists who explore different themes through the medium, including memory, migration and loss, while simultaneously challenging conventional ideas around African female representation.
“The title is a celebration of the photographers’ strength, courage and diversity, coined from the colloquial term ‘bad b***h’.
“She Bad Bad describes women whose photography re-imagines conceptual works of art through lived experiences. These are the ‘bad b***hes’ of the industry,” Mobadi says.
The exhibition is part of a larger research project by Mobadi, where she focuses on African female photographers, for which she was awarded the first curatorial research grant, Africa Projects, in 2019 by the international photography festival, Les Rencontres d’Arles and the French Institute (Paris).
Mobadi says the reason behind her giving female photographers the platform to showcase their talent stems from the difficulty she experienced entering into a male-dominated industry as she had to find other ways to make a living.
“There are not enough platforms that support and promote African female photographers, especially on the continent. The main intention of the exhibition is to highlight the amazing work female photographers in SA are doing.
“The pool has grown so much in the past years and we need to make them more visible,” Mobadi says.
“I understand full-hand the struggles female artists go through and the challenges of breaking into the industry.
“Seeing so many female artists, especially photographers, taking up space in this type of medium pushed me to continue creating platforms for their visibility. It’s very necessary,” she adds.
She Bad Bad is on at the Market Photo Workshop until August 27.