Creative Activism Awardee – South Africa
Lebo Thoka is a Johannesburg-based photographer, image retoucher, and artist. Born and raised in Johannesburg, she studied visual communication and photography at the Open Window Institute. She has had multiple solo exhibitions with David Krut Gallary and featured in numerous local and international exhibitions. In 2018, she won a Loerie certificate award for Print and Design Crafts (photography) and she was shortlisted for the 2019 Contemporary African Photography Prize and the 2021 Royal Photographic Society International Photography Exhibition. She received the New Generation Prize of the PHMuseum Women Photographer’s Grant in 2020 and her work has been featured in publications including the Washington Post and the New York Times.
Thoka’s work is mainly influenced by her feminist politics. She covers topics including femicide in South Africa and the nuanced experiences of navigating South Africa, and the world, as a Black woman. Her work largely uses repurposes objects to translate new meaning and narratives, with which she addresses social issues linked to navigating Black womanhood and the violence it faces within society. She is using the award to upgrade her equipment and fund a self-portrait photo series.
Follow her on Instagram here to learn more about her work.
Photo courtesy of Lebo Thoka.