PHOTOGRAPHERS USE IMAGERY TO EXPLORE ZULU CULTURE AT ‘NGUNI – KWELAKITHI’ EXHIBITION
Contemporary photographer and Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) photography graduate, Thalente Khomo was part of a group of photographers from the province who showcased at the ‘Nguni – Kwelakithi’ exhibition which took place at the KwaZulu Natal Society of the Arts (KZNSA) Gallery recently.
The exhibition which explored Zulu culture was curated by renowned photographer, Mandisa Buthelezi. Khomo’s work was featured alongside works by Sethembiso Zulu, Simanga Zondo, Minenhle Ntuli, Lindokuhle Ndlovu, Thembi Mthembu, Thanda Kunene, Mluleki Dlamini and archival images by Campbell Collections.
For the exhibition, Khomo exhibited portraits she took in 2019 during her residency at the prestigious Orms Cape Town School of Photography.
“The work I contributed to the exhibition was part of the Mthunzi wesithunzi III: ukuthwebula series I created in the year 2019 while I was in residency at the Orms Cape Town School of Photography. This series was a way of me grappling with a then recent death of my late grandmother. The three figures in the work represent my great grandmother, Mkhe, my paternal grandmother, uGogo and my maternal grandmother, uKhulu. That’s why one of the works is titled: Mkhe, khulu, gogo,” she explained.
A statement by Russel Hlongwane of KZNSA Gallery read: “This exhibition convenes an orchestra of voices to imagine, erase, accept and contend with the contemporary question of being umZulu particularly in one’s own cultural milieu; and in the world at large. If the camera was the primary weapon to bring the native to the world, herewith the camera is used to introspect upon ourselves for our own sense-making.”
Khomo who has been a practising photographer for a number of years, said the exhibition was important because it showcased work by black creatives and is a representation of their culture and customs.
Pictured: Fashion, beauty and fine arts photographer, Thalente Khomo at the KZNSA Gallery. (Photo by Paulo Menezes).