“Late Monday evening, VII (pronounced “seven”), one of the world’s premier photojournalism agencies, discreetly posted a terse, two-sentence statement on its website announcing that Antonin Kratochvil, the famed photographer and one of the organization’s founding members, had resigned. Any further inquiries, the agency said, “should be directed to Mr. Kratochvil.”
Kratochvil’s quiet resignation came on the heels of a bombshell report in the Columbia Journalism Review by Kristen Chick, in which several women accused him of groping and intimidating a number of female colleagues. (Kratochvil continues to deny all allegations.)…
… There were stories about the toxic culture of photojournalism before Chick’s reporting, including recent articles that brought down the famed sports photographer Bill Frakes and National Geographic editor Patrick Witty. But nothing was as comprehensive and pointed as Chick’s piece. After witnessing a wave wash over Hollywood, the media, politics, and corporate America, Chick’s story should have hastened our industry’s own #MeToo moment. That hasn’t happened — and the reason is bigger than a few bad actors….”
“… in the broader photographic industry there is still an equality gap that exists despite the movements that publicly call out old school stereotypical gender ‘norms’ – especially in the professional photographer arena. Hell, it still exists in most arenas. Professional or otherwise! So what is wrong with this picture? Is it just that more men are interested in photography than women and so more men become professionals? Well, if that were the case then what happened to all those young women I attended art school with? Exceptionally talented photographers….”
“It is the policy of the Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) that every member of the Society and the greater Film and Television industry has the right to work in an environment free from any gender, race, disability, religious, sexual orientation discrimination or harassment and bullying of any kind. This includes any verbal, emotional, physical, cyber or sexual harassment.
The Society will not tolerate any behaviour that is considered threatening or disrespectful towards or by any of our members or guests….”
The episode of BBC4’s long-running Women’s Hour radio show broadcast on Friday 10th February considers the current state of play for female cinematographers.
As the BAFTAs and the Oscars approach there’s one group of women who’ll still be excluded from the nominations, the cinematographers. They do beautiful work but never get the prizes. Why not?
Jenni speaks to two women who work as cinematographers; Vanessa Whyte, co-founder of Illuminatrix – a collective of female cinematographers and Kate Reid who has worked on shows such as Call the Midwife and Uncle.