VULNERABLE SEXUALITY

The photography series Vulnerable Sexuality discusses the challenges faced daily by women in South Africa through the voice of Mmakgosi Kgabi. Multidisciplinary artist, whose work revisits themes of politics of the black female body.

The imprisonment of women in their bodies, due to a patriarchal and sexist society where constant harassment by men on the street and, even inside the house, makes them consciously doctor their appearance. With the purpose of hiding their gender and thus avoid inappropriate harassment. Kgabi reports that the most frequently heard phrase “You are my size” still shakes them. Growing up listening from men that their feminine physical characteristic, seen as the perfect ideal of the female body, generates an internal rejection and ends up with the non-acceptance of the physique.

In 2019 Mmakgosi went through a life-changing transformation that has evolved into an assessment of their self-image and due to this break in life, the end of a partnership, they suggested we do a new photoshoot because it was time to re-examine themselves and the trauma their body holds. Kgabi is on a journey to challenge and take responsibility for the perpetuation of these traumas and their effect on others. Inspired by an image I posted on my Instagram the artist proposed that we aim the images at nudity to explore their vulnerability since they never posed nude before. The current situation led them to reflect on the difficulty in accepting and feeling good about their body and she revealed that her confidence in my work was decisive.

As a photographer is a privilege to share extremely personal experiences with so many women. It is a reflection of a work focused on issues related to sexuality when the naked self-portrait became an important tool for understanding my own dilemmas.

 In 2011, the choice to settle down in Berlin seemed obvious as she met anonymity as a lesbian on the streets, on her first business trip. She has an MA in Solo, Dance, and Authorship from the UdK and works as a Dramaturg in the Berlin free performance art scene.

The series received an Honourable Mention from the 15th Julia Margaret Cameron Awards 2020 in the category Women seen by Women.

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