Fulufhelo Mobadi’s latest show ‘She Bad Bad’ challenges female photography status quo
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In commemoration of Women’s Month, South African photographer Fulufhelo Mobadi has teamed up with a group of emerging black female photographers to showcase their artworks in her latest photographic exhibition titled She Bad Bad.
Mobadi, who curated the exhibition, explains that the title of the show is a celebration of women’s strength, courage and diversity, coined from the colloquial term “bad bitch”.
“She Bad Bad describes women whose photography re-imagines conceptual works of art through lived experiences,” says Mobadi. “These are the ‘bad bitches’ of the industry.”
Mobadi says her curatorial practice focuses on the “promotion and accessibility for visual artists, particularly photographers” within contemporary South Africa and beyond.
“As a socially engaged curator, I am motivated by making the unspoken and the hidden visible. When I worked as a photographer, I realised the challenges female photographers have in the industry, not just in South Africa but all over the continent.
“It truly was male dominated and I wanted to change that. I currently don’t practice photography, as my focus has shifted to curation, but I still use my practice to confront some of the challenges faced by black female photographers on the continent.
“Over the years I’ve watched the pool of talented black female photographers from the country grow, they were so many on social media and their works blew me away. There’s a huge difference in how women use the medium and they continue to push its boundaries.
“The female gaze is special and I created this exhibition specifically to highlight just how creative and talented the photographers are.”
Mobadi promises a beautifully curated show with works by exceptionally talented female photographers.
“There is also a podcast that creates visual conversations around the importance of the show, as well as a closing celebration on the August 27,” she adds.
As part of the Africa 2020 season, Les Rencontres d'Arles and the French Institute (Paris) awarded Mobadi the first Curatorial Research grant – Africa Projects in 2019 for her project She Bad Bad.
The grant included curatorial research, the production and presentation of She Bad Bad at Les Rencontres d'Arles in France. But due to the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions, the French Institute (Paris) resolved to have the work presented in Johannesburg.
The French Institute of South Africa partnered with the Market Photo Workshop for the exhibition, which is showing at the Photo Workshop Gallery until Friday, August 27.
Contributing photographers of the She Bad Bad exhibition include Puleng Mongale, Bongiwe Phakathi, Brittany Zoe Masters, Nonzuzo Gxekwa, Noncedo Gxekwa, Manyatsa Monyamane, Lebogang Tlhako, Mandisa Buthelezi, Tshepiso Moropa, Thalente Khomo and Fezeka Mophethe