Manyatsa Monyamane

6x6 Africa Talent: Manyatsa Monyamane, South Africa

“Manyatsa is a technically solid photographer with expert lighting and composition techniques. She uses these skills to articulate nuanced stories on body positivity and the often overlooked communities of the elderly in South Africa. Her approach is ethical and respectful.” - Laylah Amatullah Barrayn, USA, photographer and 6x6 nominator

Manyatsa Monyamane is a Johannesburg-based artist and visual storyteller. Her work unpacks unpopular themes, putting a spotlight on stories often overlooked by mainstream media. She was a finalist at Pop Cap 2016 and, in 2017, a Multi & New Media Merit Award Winner - all for the Thami Mnyele Fine Arts Awards. In 2018, she was announced as a finalist for the International Women Photographers Award, with a travelling exhibition in Dubai, New Delhi, Tokyo and Paris.

The Unsung One

The participants in this project emphasize the historical value of our elders; these are real people who have witnessed and experienced the transition of an entire society towards the birth of a new nation. These are people who have defined what it means to be a South African today. The aim of this project is to celebrate the undying spirit of resilience of the youth of the 70’s and prior, the truly unsung heroines and heroes of South Africa. ‘The Unsung Ones’ offers an opportunity to build empathy and understanding, and provides a means to hold space for and honor their stories and experiences. Capturing the beauty and strength that carried South Africans through the dark days, and continues to carry South Africans to this day, the project looks at how these individuals define themselves 50 years later.

Serithi, The Aura of a Black Woman

This project seeks to counter the erasure of black bodies, specifically black women’s bodies in modern history. For Monyamane, “we are not in an age where women of colour are fully able to sculpt their own narratives, voices and images. Women of colour are not encouraged to embrace their being as freely as should have been the case”. As a result of a hypersexual society, women are discouraged from fully expressing their individuality, their womanhood - particularly in the case of women of colour. Each woman who contributed to this series brings forth a different personality, and embraces everything that comes with being a black woman; this series embraces the multiplicity of characteristics that makes each woman unique.

Discover work by the 6x6 Africa talents, and find out about 6x6’s nomination and selection process.