Rhulani Anthony Bila
IZITYHILELO ZIKA NDZIMANI (Revelations from the children of God)/神聖小孩的啟示
“ Izambulo zabantwana benkholo” 在祖魯語中它的意思是「神聖小孩的啟示」。柯薩語中，“ziythilelo”意為基督教聖經的啟示錄。啟示錄，講述了末日的種種、審判等預言。此系列的攝影作品，探討年輕人們如何面對心中的矛盾。這衝突來自在這瞬息萬變的世界中，他們對精神性靈的需要和嚮往身份認同間的拉扯。他們內心對於自己能否駕馭生活的能力感到遲疑，特別是長期信仰著的道德、性別、身份方面。這些信仰與他們的生活並行著，而因生活而成長出的新世界正在挑戰他們— 什麼才是他們應該遵循且奠基的社會及宗教的準則。
Izambulo zabantwana benkholo is the introduction to the story which means Revelations from the children of religion in isiZulu. Iziythilelo is the Xhosa word relating to the book of Revelations of the Christian Bible. In the Book of Revelations, it speaks about the ‘End Times’ or ‘Last Days’ and condemns many actions prophesied to manifest in that time. This photo series seeks to explore how these young people feel a conflict between their need for spirituality and the desire to navigate their place and identity in an evolving, complex world. There’s inner-conflict between their long-held beliefs about morality, sexuality, and identity that they seek to navigate. Many of these beliefs are now at loggerheads with their lived experiences. The discovery of new identities that challenge the notion of who and what they should be based on what they see as societal and religious norms. This series seeks to explore how this impacts on their need for self determination. Ndzimani, meaning struggle in Xhosa, signifies the struggle amongst them to express themselves freely and is indicative of how the need for religion and spirituality is in opposition to the desires of the flesh. A place meant for refuge is often seen by young people as the very reason many them feel oppressed, conflicted or marginalized—rejected even—because their lives don’t conform to the strict tenets of their beliefs written thousands of years ago that they now see as outdated, unmoving for the time they live in.
About the photographer:
Rhulani Anthony is a multidisciplinary artist whose upbringing in the township of Tembisa has informed his outlook on the world greatly. Using primarily the visual mediums of photography, film his work in portrait, fashion and documentary photographer, digital and analog, has opened up opportunities that have seem him exhibit in Cape Town, Johannesburg and abroad. As a film director, a medium he considers the ‘holy grail’ of creativity where all aspects of art come together, Anthony is hyper vigilant of being a conduit for the stories of South Africans and Africans at large having worked with South African Tourism and Brand South Africa to win Loerie nominations and awards. His main body of work still centres largely around the larger Ekhuruleni Metropol that played such a major part in shaping the narratives of the people he was surrounded by, both South African and African at large. In recent years, opportunities to travel and extend his social documentary photography have taken him to far flung places such as Kenya, China, Germany and the United States. Rhulani’s work continues to challenge and evolve to tell simple but often underrepresented sectors of society and his focus continues to hone as his skills grow. One project at a time. One story at a time.