Exclusive: Artist Jody Brand photographs Athi-Patra Ruga in film for ‘Queens in Exile’

Ahead of multidisciplinary artist Athi-Patra Ruga’s anticipated solo exhibition, titled Queens of Exile, Cape Town photographer Jody Brand joined the artist in his studio to capture him and his space.

Earlier this year, Jody’s solo exhibition “You Can’t Keep A Good Woman Down” debuted to critical acclaim. “I prefer to use point-and-shoot cameras because photography, as a medium, is always going to be problematic. You are always dealing with a gaze. To remove a big lens out of the exchange, to introduce something that people feel safer around, allows me to have a better exchange with my subjects. It is also what I am most familiar with,” she says.

For this collection, Jody visited Athi’s Woodstock to capture in film the artist before the 29 November show. Born in Umtata, Eastern Cape, Athi’s Ruga’s latest exhibition, which takes its name from activist Sylvia Rivera’s autobiographical essay Queens in Exile, the Forgotten Ones, is “about telling better stories”.


Photographer: Jody Brand
Creative director: Lee-Ann Orton
Producer: Stefanie Jason
Tiger Maremela
Styling: Unathi Mkonto
MUA: Angelo Valerio
Photography assistant: Elijah Ndoumbe

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