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Kewpie, daughter of District Six

When: Thursday, 16 May 2019 - Wednesday, 31 July 2019
Where: Off campus
Market Photo Workshop, 138 Lillian Ngoyi St (old Bree St), Newtown, Johannesburg. Suggested Dress Code: Legendary
Start time:18:00

The GALA Archives will host this exhibition.

The Kewpie collection, held at the GALA Archives, is the personal photographic collection of Kewpie (1941-2012), whose given name was Eugene Fritz. Kewpie was part of a queer community in District Six, who at the time were known amongst themselves and by the wider community as ‘moffies’. From what we know, Kewpie’s gender identity was fluid, and she did not strictly identify as either male or female. Kewpie was born in 1941, grew up in District Six and became a hairdresser, training at Salon André in Hanover Street before eventually opening her own salon, Salon Kewpie, in Kensington. By night, Kewpie was a celebrated attendee at ‘moffie’ balls, and she would often perform on stage to packed audiences at District Six’s Ambassador Club.

The photographs and accompanying material explore Kewpie’s life and drag culture in District Six, introducing a new audience to a fascinating period of LGBTIQ+ social history and deepening historical understanding of the diverse District Six community. In addition, the collection offers an insight into photography and self-representation in a specific time and place in history. The exhibition depicts the full and complex lives of Kewpie and friends, showing both the carefully crafted public personas of the drag queens and also their private ‘off-duty’ lives.

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