Huis Marseille

Sabelo Mlangeni – Isivumelwano

21 May 2022 until 4 September 2022

Exhibition

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South African photographer Sabelo Mlangeni shows work from his days as a wedding photographer, in which he captures a wide variety of rituals, traditions and celebrations in intimate images, magnifying ‘the systems we exist in (and against)’.

Wedding photos

The South African photographer Sabelo Mlangeni (1980, Driefontein, South Africa), known for his documentary work on generally overlooked groups and cultures, shows a selection of a remarkable archive of wedding photographs for the first time The exhibition Isivumelwano is an ode to love and community, offering a glimpse into intimate, underexposed South African marriage ceremonies.

Poetic

The weddings and accompanying festivities that Mlangeni has documented as a ‘cameraman’ since 1997, offer an inspiring counterbalance to the stereotypical white wedding. 70 Moving, hand-printed black and white and colour photographs with a poetic, almost mythical quality.

30 years

For nearly 30 years Sabelo Mlangeni has photographed marriages in South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland. The exhibition Isivumelwano is the first to present a large selection of this extensive photographic archive. The photographer captures a wide variety of rituals, traditions and celebrations in intimate images, magnifying ‘the systems we exist in (and against)’.

Isivumelwano

The title Isivumelwano comes from Nguni, a group of languages (to which Xhosa, Zulu, Ndebele and Swati also belong) that is spoken in several different Southern African countries. The word means ‘contract’, ‘agreement’ or ‘alliance’, and here it is synonymous with the marriage ceremonies in Black communities that Mlangeni documented in southern Africa. In a series of 70 hand-printed images, which have never been shown before, the viewer is invited to join almost as many ceremonies, very diverse in nature. Lovingly depicted couples who do not conform to heteronormative standards, local populations, and cultural traditions all challenge traditional notions of the ‘white wedding’.

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Date

21 May 2022 until 4 September 2022

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Location

Huis Marseille

Keizersgracht 401
1016 EK Amsterdam
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020 - 53 18 989

Open today from 10:00 until 18:00

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Day Opening hours
Wed 10:00 - 18:00
Thu 10:00 - 21:00
Fri - Mon 10:00 - 18:00
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