• Welcome to the website of the French Institute of South Africa!

  • Bienvenue sur le site de l'Institut Français d'Afrique du Sud !

French Ambassador Farnaud honours Zanele Muholi with France’s top cultural award

2017 Zanele Muholi et David Goldblatt

 

On the 22nd of November 2017, the Ambassador of France to South Africa, H.E. Mr Christophe Farnaud, hosted a reception at the French Residence in Pretoria in honour of visual activist Zanele Muholi, who received the insignia of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters).

Muholi is an internationally acclaimed South African photographer. Born in 1972 in Umlazi, the artist's work is deeply intertwined with advocacy on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) community.
Also present was renowned South African photographer David Goldblatt, who founded the Market Photo Workshop and mentored Muholi. In 2016, Goldblatt was awarded the insignia of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres.

In his speech, Ambassador Farnaud praised Muholi's work:

"Muholi is an internationally acclaimed "visual activist", as she puts it. France is proud to stand beside those who fight for the right to be free and equal. Muholi's work has raised the subject of LGBTQI rights in South Africa and internationally. It shines a light where there is shadow, it creates a space where there was none."

Muholi cofounded the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW) in 2002 and in 2009 founded Inkanyiso, a forum for queer and visual media.
The artist has produced a number of photographic series that investigate the severe disconnect in post-apartheid South Africa between the equality promoted by the country's constitution and the intolerance toward and violent acts targeting individuals within the LGBTI community.

Muholi thanked Goldblatt for his guidance over the years and vowed to support other young photographers:

"I want to thank all the people who have helped me. I want to make sure there is a new generation of photographers that are members of the LGBTQI community".

The ceremony also saw performances by drag performer Odidi Mfenyana and Annalise Stuurman (Annalyzer).

About the Order of the Arts and Letters:
The Order of Arts and Letters, established in 1957 by the French Minister of Culture, rewards those who, through their ongoing engagement and creativity, have helped develop the arts and literature in France and throughout the world.

 

Arts & Culture - Events & News

  • 2021-TrueFashion-call HEADER
    Calls for applications

    Call for Applications - Fashion

    Deadline extended to 20 April True Fashion, Try on Green Within the framework of the Franco-German Cultural Fund, the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) and the Goethe Institut are joining forces on a project combining fashion and sustainable development. "True fashion, try on green" is a… Read more
  • 2021-PoetryAnthology-cover
    Events & News

    Launch of a new South African Poetry Anthology

    The French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) is proud to announce the launch of Yesterdays and Imagining Realities: An Anthology of South African Poetry Yesterdays and Imagining Realities: An Anthology of South African Poetry will be launched on Sunday 21 March as part of the 24th edition of the… Read more
  • WEB-programme-13-mars-Festival-francophonie-2021
    Events & News

    Programme of the opening of the Francophonie Festival 2021

    The programme of the opening of the Francophonie Festival is out! Join us on Saturday 13 March to celebrate the diversity and richness of the Francophone cultures around the world. Over 30 Francophone and Francophile countries represented in South Africa will participate in the online event, with… Read more

Follow us:

 

Join the Culture Newsletter

Contact

Tel. (+27) 11 403 0458
Fax. (+27) 11 403 0465