"Seeking Solace" Challenges The Hegemonic Norms Of Sexuality And Gender

Updated: Nov 18, 2021


Growing up in Soweto, South Africa, Nkateko Mondhlana's fascination with photography began at an early age. He appreciated how beyond freezing time, a photograph had the power to tell a story and form memories over the progression of time.


His interest in photography expanded into his adolescent years and made him realize the significance of storytelling. He then began to view the medium as an instrument of leadership as it provides a sense of human connection, challenges non-progressive norms, and has the power to reshape reality.


Recently, he collaborated with his peers for “Seeking Solace”, a series that commemorates the existence of the LGBTQIA+ community and explores the intimacy shared amongst queer bodies.



Gender and sex are forms of recognition which function through normative power to delineate what bodies ought to be in society. This is because when a child is born, the doctor declares whether they are a “boy” or “girl”. This informs the system within which the child comes into being that is socially and culturally coded. Thus, sex and gender are hegemonic norms which alienate beings that are different, which reiterates the history of pride. — Nkateko Mondhlana

The closeness of the queer bodies in the series restructures the hegemonic ideas surrounding "man" and "woman". It also demonstrates the wholeness of the queer community, allowing for existence and liberation. The use of neutral tones and natural lighting assist in conveying the message.




CREDITS:

Creative Direction - Nkateko Mondhlana

Photography - Lonwabo Kente

Styling - Namhla Thiwani

Crew Headshots - Thabisile Mabaso

Videography - Hlengiwe Mkwayi

Video editing - Nicole Langa

Image Retouch - Thanduxolo Mwelase

Models - Assante Ameen, Buhle-Bontle Satsha, Gomolemo Moime, Lisa Nontobeko Dywashu, Mpho Patane, Okgabile Dickson, Thabiso Mothibi Mokhatshane


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