Zanele Muholi and the women of the Women’s Mobile Museum talk portraiture, self-love and fighting the patriarchy
The Women’s Mobile Museum is a year-long project by the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center which brings renowned South African Photographer, Zanele Muholi to Philadelphia to engage with a group of ten local women who are interested in media arts and museum studies but have not had significant access to formal training in these areas. Imani sat down with Muholi and two of the program’s apprentices, Shasta Bady and “Muffy” Ashley Torres, to discuss their hopes for the project and their journey thus far.

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Zanele Muholi made an international name for herself photographing the intimate lives of the black LBGTQ+ community in her native South Africa. In more recent years, she has turned the camera on herself, impactfully blurring the lines between self-portraiture and performance. Now, she is bringing her keen eye and activist spirit to Philadelphia, where she will be in residence at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center through early 2019, spearheading their groundbreaking Pew-supported project, the Women’s Mobile Museum. Over the course of the next few months, Muholi will collaborate with a diverse group of local women selected for a paid media arts apprenticeship to intervene in Philadelphia’s cultural landscape — bringing conversations about representation and the museum to neighborhoods frequently overlooked by local visual arts institutions. These brilliant women, who have been in intensive training since February, are currently working on a mobile exhibit, which will travel to community centers in Juniata Park and Point Breeze in the fall, before taking a more traditional form at PPAC early next year. What makes a good portrait? Listen to find out. Imani interviewed Zanele Muholi, Shasta Bady and “Muffy” Ashley Torres at Moore College of Art and Design’s TGMR radio station on May 15th, 2018; the podcast is 37 minutes long.

Front row (L to R): Artist Zanele Muholi, apprentices Shasta Bady and “Muffy” Ashley Torres; Back row (L to R): Imani Roach, apprentices Latasha “Tash” Billington and Carrie-Anne Shimborski
Front row (L to R): Artist Zanele Muholi, apprentices Shasta Bady and “Muffy” Ashley Torres; Back row (L to R): Imani Roach, apprentices Latasha “Tash” Billington and Carrie-Anne Shimborski

In the fall of 2018, Women’s Mobile Museum will travel to Diversified Community Services in Point Breeze, and to Juniata Action Committee in Juniata Park. For more information about the the project, and to read about the women in the apprenticeship program visit the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center’s website. You can also follow the project on instagram @womensmobilemuseum.

Thank you to The Galleries at Moore TGMR radio project for making this podcast possible, and especially to Matt Kalasky for inviting Artblog to participate in the Moore TGMR radio project.

Tags

Moore TGMR radio project, TGMR radio, women's mobile museum

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