Visual activist Zanele Muholi was awarded the insignia of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters) in Pretoria last week. It was a night to remember when the ambassador of France to SA, Christophe Farnaud, amid loud ululating and excitement, honoured Muholi. She is an internationally acclaimed photographer whose work is embedded with advocacy on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) community. As if this award wasn’t honour enough, the gathering transformed the night into something extraordinary, something very South African. Muholi has not had an easy pathway to recognition, but listening to the story of her struggle to achieve this recognition, makes it clear that special artists will find a way. She was guided by her mentor, acclaimed photographer David Goldblatt, who had also received the order years ago. She first heard about Goldblatt through the Market Photo Workshop, her other home, which he had founded. Mu...

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