Reflections on the Self: Five African Women Photographers

Past exhibition
Hayward Gallery Touring

Black and White Photograph by artist, Hélène Amouzou
Hélène Amouzou, Untitled, 2008,© Hélène Amouzou . 2010, Courtesy the artist REFLECTIONS ON THE SELF: FIVE AFRICAN WOMEN PHOTOGRAPHERS - Hayward Touring Exhibition 2012

The work of five contemporary African women photographers who explore women’s narratives through portraiture

The exhibition, curated by Christine Eyene, focused on female photographic practice in Africa and the diaspora, and examined the gaze of women photographers and how this is informed by the politics of representation.

The photographers in the exhibition were Hélène Amouzou (Togo, Belgium), Majida Khattari (Morocco, France), Zanele Muholi (South Africa), Senayt Samuel (Eritrea, UK), and Nontsikelelo Veleko (South Africa).

Hélène Amouzou (b. 1969) created her series of self-portraits, 'Between the Wallpaper and the Wall', during a ten-year period whilst she was in limbo in Belgium waiting for her identity papers. 

Majida Khattari (b. 1966) is an artist, designer and photographer who challenges the stigma of the veil and preconceived ideas about Muslim women in France. 

Zanele Muholi's (b. 1972) work looks at women's experiences and histories, particularly black lesbian identities. 

Senayt Samuel (b. 1969) settled in London in 2002 after her family's deportation from Ethiopia. The series in this exhibition consisted of self-portraits exploring the notion of framing and mirrored reflections, both as an art-historical device and as a means of defining the parameters of identity. 

Nontsikelelo Veleko (b. 1977) currently lives and works in Johannesburg. Her signature images captured alternative youth fashion in contemporary South Africa, focusing on funky and provocative street style. 

Christine Eyene is an art critic and independent curator.  

This Hayward Touring Exhibition was launched at London's Royal Festival Hall as part of the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day in March 2011.

The exhibition included 34 framed works, each 60 x 80cm. A research pack for venues included an essay by the curator and detailed information on each of the photographers.


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