No Nepa Evening with Nonso, Thom, Mike, Daniel & Ruby

Sabelo Mlangeni
No Nepa Evening with Nonso, Thom, Mike, Daniel & Ruby, 2019
Hand printed silver gelatin print
Work: 40.5 x 52 x 3.5 cm

The Royal House of Allure is the name of a (safe) House on mainland Lagos where members of the queer community in need of boarding (due to various circumstances) live together. Mlangeni spent six weeks in Lagos photographing the queer community in this house. This resulted in a series of images bearing the same name. The series sits firmly within Mlangeni’s continuing survey of the most challenging, beautiful and confounding aspects of the human experience. The Royal House of Allure contains images that may at first appear simple, whereas a longer and deeper perusal reveals nuanced prompts that urge us towards complexities behind representation. The images diverge at a single specific point; those that display fantasy through glamour where subjects actively pose for the camera and those that offer quieter banal moments where subjects are simply going on about their day at the house. The Royal House of Allure forms part of Mlangeni’s broader practice of (re)imaging and (re) imagining vulnerable bodies as safe, seen and worthy of protection and celebration.