Thandiwe Msebenzi

b. 1991, South Africa

uBuhle buya nyamezelwa, 2017
Photographic print on German etching archival paper
Edition of 5

Image courtesy Smith Gallery, South Africa, & the artist
Thandiwe Msebenzi is a photographer and was a member of all-female art collective iQhiya. She uses her “chosen medium to communicate her own experiences as a woman, and to connect this to larger conversations about how woman are treated, and how they are forced to navigate space. Through unpacking her own experiences she is able to challenge patriarchal notions of womxn’s bodies as objects of desire and control.”

The themes that she addresses relate to the deliberate silencing of female voices, which in this photograph manifests in the face of the subject being obscured by her braids. The title of the work refers to the pain endured in attaining beauty.

“It’s a saying that speaks to the pain one goes through to attain beauty. For example, getting braids is painful, so as kids when we cried while getting our hair done we would be told to "endure the pain to attain the beauty”,” says the artist.