South African photographer and artist, Zanele Muholi awarded the 2016 Infinity Award for her outstanding work in photography.


The International Center of Photography (ICP) celebrated the 2016 honorees of its annual Infinity Awards in New York City on Monday, April 11, 2016.  Widely considered the leading honor for excellence in the field since 1985. For documentary and photojournalism, our very own Zanele Muholi, whose photographs capture the often unseen population of LGBTQ people of South Africa.

“The Infinity Awards is a very special night each year at which we celebrate the achievements of remarkable talent across photography and visual arts,” said ICP Executive Director Mark Lubell. “ICP is proud to recognise and celebrate this outstanding group of individuals making an impact on the world of visual culture.” [ICP Website]

You can watch Zanele’s recipient film here.


Zanele Muholi was born in Umlazi, Durban, in 1972, and lives in Johannesburg. She co-founded the Forum for Empowerment of Women (FEW) in 2002, and in 2009 founded Inkanyiso (, a forum for queer and visual (activist) media. Muholi’s self-proclaimed mission is ‘to re-write a black queer and trans visual history of South Africa for the world to know of our resistance and existence at the height of hate crimes in SA and beyond’. Muholi studied Advanced Photography at the Market Photo Workshop in Newtown, Johannesburg, and in 2009 completed an MFA: Documentary Media at Ryerson University, Toronto.

She has won numerous awards including the Fine Prize for an emerging artist at the 2013 Carnegie International; a Prince Claus Award (2013); the Index on Censorship – Freedom of Expression art award (2013); and the Casa Africa award for best female photographer and a Fondation Blachère award at Les Rencontres de Bamako biennial of African photography (2009). Her Faces and Phases series has shown at, among others, Documenta 13; the South African Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale; and the 29th São Paulo Biennale. She was shortlisted for the 2015 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize for her publication Faces and Phases: 2006-14 (Steidl/The Walther Collection). Muholi is an Honorary Professor of the University of the Arts, Bremen. [Stevenson]