The woman we chose to celebrate in this installment of our women series is someone who, contrary to Lulama Wolf, is not very interested in beauty. She is someone who rather turns her focus toward representing an alternative to stereotypical images, either through instantaneously capturing a perceived reality or completely fabricating one. Words: Nadine Oosthuizen
Inspired by the contrasting nature of the city of Johannesburg, Kristin-Lee Moolman is on a mission to constantly challenge the outside perception of Africa, by representing everyday life in South Africa through the exploration of themes such as sexuality, violence and black magic. For her, it’s all about using the power of photography to subvert and challenge the norm.
Her photographs make up some of the most important bodies of work produced in South Africa, about Africa, and gives much-needed expression to young black queer lives in the current sociopolitical sphere. With an eye for creativity and innovation, Moolman is driven by the need to produce evocative images. Her work has been shown in countries all over Africa, Asia and the US, and have been included in magazines such as Vogue Australia, Dazed & Confused, Vice, GQ and Grazia UK. She has also shot campaigns for American Apparel, Samsung, Triumph, and most recently shot the 2016 lookbook for Edun (founded by Bono).
Currently, her work is on exhibit at Summerset House in London, titled 2026 and focuses on heteronormative attitudes to self-expression through fashion. Following her characteristic “off-kilter glossy” style, Moolman plays with the idea of what men’s fashion will look like by 2026, aiming to present an alternative to often produced by mainstream media.
To her, photography changed her way of thinking and assisted in ordering her mind. Through photography she managed to explore different concepts and cultures she would not ordinarily have pursued.
Moolman is one of a kind, and her gender bending photographs will forever be archived as validation of the humanising power of art. It stands as a celebration of the integrity with which minorities express their identity and desires.