Fotomuseum Winterthur: Panel Discussion: Exposing the Unexposed. Feminist Collectives and Street Photography

“On the occasion of the exhibition Street. Life. Photography, Fotomuseum Winterthur is hosting a live-streamed online panel discussion with guests such as the Australian Unexposed Collective, the Head On Photo Festival and curators and artists. This event will discuss the importance and visibility of women*, intersex and non-binary artists within the international street photography scene. The focus will be on feminist collectives, which organise themselves via social media and work collaboratively, participatory and transnationally. How can feminist collectives influence a male* dominated industry? How do they become part of established institutions? What role do social media play in mobilising the community and enabling exchange? And: What ethical and (cultural) political stance do feminist collectives take in the genre of street photography? These and further questions will be discussed….”

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Fujifilm US Creator, Photojournalist & Documentary Photographer Bess Adler on the Fujifilm X-S10, & More

My conversation about diversity, inclusion and equal representation during the Fujifilm Australia Touch-and-Try event yesterday prompted me to go looking for some of the female photographers with whom other national offices of Fujifilm have established relationships. 

New York-based documentary photographer and photojournalist Bess Adler  and her post-lockdown photographs caught my eye right away, given my own background in documentary photography and photojournalism for magazines and newspapers.

One of the things that I find a little frustrating in articles and videos by the vast majority of camera and lens reviewers is that their photographs tend to be generic – trees, flowers, girlfriends, cats and dogs, street scenes and the like.

I would much rather watch and read reviews by professionals and accomplished enthusiasts, as it were, who specialize in a specific genre and have years of achievement and experience behind them.

Even better if those genres are ones that I am also interested in or practise such as portraiture, documentary, photojournalism, architecture and, especially when feeling hungry, food photography!

It seems that Fujifilm has taken that idea on board and has supplied photographs in a range of genres – aerial, dance, documentary, editorial, food, landscape, portrait, travel and wedding – in their Fujifilm X-S10 media pack.

It is pleasing to note that, looking at the file names in each genre image folder, Fujifilm is now denoting the country from which each photographer comes as well as their name so I can make a fair guess at their gender.

The media pack includes photographers from these countries – Belgium, China, Denmark, France, India, Italy, Japan, Myanmar, Phillipines. Poland, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, United Kingdom, USA, Vietnam.

Australia is represented by a subfolder named ‘Julia Trotti’ though it is not indicated which country she is from.

Another subfolder is named ‘Luis Enrique Ascui’, again without attribution as to his country of origin or country of residence but which turns out to be Australia, after a little research online.

Scanning the X-S10 sample photograph file names reveals these female photographers – Ewa Meissner, Karan Hutton, Eva Mageurat, Keiko Akabane, Heidi Browne, Kara Mercer, Dy Duyen, Marie Wynants, Maria the Pilot aka Maria Fagerström, Onyi Moss, Jaja Samanjiego and White Smoke Studio, one of whom is female, namely Dorota Kaszuba.

Apologies if I have missed anyone out!

Where possible I have added those names to Instagram account and I suggest perusing the many pages of the Fujifilm-X website by choosing various countries in the Country/Region drop-down at upper right of that site’s pages.

Revelations, stories and videos are there for the finding.

Links

The Cut: The Electric Intimacy of Alice Springs

https://www.thecut.com/2019/02/alice-springs-fashion-photographer.html

“It’s a joy to contemplate the photography of June Newton, a.k.a. Alice Springs. The Australian-born Springs is the 95-year-old widow of the provocative fashion photographer Helmut Newton, but that’s the least interesting thing about her.

Under Springs’s gaze, world-famous actresses like Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Rampling, and Audrey Hepburn look like people, not icons — conversational, intent, their eyes telegraphing depths beneath. Springs respects their beauty, but doesn’t accept it as a mask. There are shadows beneath Deneuve’s perfect features; Hepburn looks gorgeous, but her age….”

Charlotte Rampling. Photo: © Alice Springs / Maconochie Photography

Commentary

While preparing for an extensive documentary portrait photography project on Australian female creatives and innovators, I came across this article about June Newton aka Alice Springs published earlier this year along with a series of links to other articles about her and her work as a photographer and director of the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin.

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Visual ArtsHub: A new foundation for Australian women’s art

https://visual.artshub.com.au/news-article/news/visual-arts/visual-arts-writer/a-new-foundation-for-australian-womens-art-258076

Sheila: A Foundation for Women in Visual Art was officially launched in Perth yesterday (28 May). The initiative comes out of a swelling need for greater gender equality within the visual arts.

‘According to The Countess Report (a Sheila-funded project) women are 75 per cent of art school graduates but only 34 per cent of artists exhibited in our state museums and galleries. Gender inequality is apparent in art prizes, representation of female artists in media and the proportion of female artists represented in exhibitions at state museums,’ reminded Sheila Cruthers on the occasion of the launch.

Sheila aims to redress that in a multi-prong way: to provide scholarships for art historians and curators, assist the purchase and commission works by women artists, and run annual lecture and symposiums focused on women’s art….

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The New York Times: The First Female Photographers Brought a New Vision to The New York Times [paywall]

“As revolutions go, this one got off to a quiet and unassuming start in the early 1970s. It was achieved slowly, one female photographer at a time, each hired by The New York Times for her talent with a camera and her desire to practice the best journalism possible.

The men who hired the first of those women quite likely weren’t thinking about altering the prevailing concepts of photojournalism. But over time, as more women were hired and gained acceptance, they began to push successfully for publication of images that were different, for the truths they saw in people and events, for assignments that had once been denied them and for assignments that had not been envisioned before….”

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Opening Night, The 2019 Loud and Luminous Exhibition, St Leonards, NSW, Australia, April 11 2019

I attended the launch of the 2019 Loud and Luminous Exhibition by the Loud and Luminous collective of Australian women and non-binary photographers at Contact Sheet, “an education and mentorship space, a gallery and a co-working space” in the Sydney north shore suburb of St Leonards, located in a complex of creative spaces supported by TWT Developments, Building Hope Foundation and Brand X. 

This is the first time I have encountered these organizations and there may well be some intriguing stories and documentary subjects to be found within them. 

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Ted’s World of Imaging: ‘Women of Influence’ with Lisa Wilkinson & Daniel Linnet, Saturday 23rd March

“In Collaboration with Canon Master Daniel Linnet, Lisa Wilkson presents her photographic exhibition “Women of Influence” comprising powerful portraits of ten Australian women who have inspired her and influenced modern Australia. In her own words, Lisa reveals why she is captivated by storytelling through photography and why she chose to photograph Asher Keddie, Deborra-Lee Furness, Dame Marie Bashir, Peta Credlin, Turia Pitt, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Cate McGregor, Gretel Packer, Mia Freedman and Dr. Susan Carland for this powerful and personal exhibition. As creative director of the shoot, Daniel will be able to your questions around the many different elements that need to come together to pull off a shoot of this level.”

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Flash Forward Flash Back: Female Dynamics: The Presence of Women in Commercial Photography

http://flashforwardflashback.com/female-dynamics/

“As the #MeToo movement as shown, no industry sector is immune from the throes of gender inequity. In editorial and commercial photography, men still largely outnumber women, despite the fact that much of advertising and is geared towards a more feminine audience. However, the status quo may not endure much longer; photographers, producers and creative directors are fighting for change, either through personal endeavours or collective undertakings. Five photographers and art producers, in discussion with Heather Morton, explain why and how….”

Cover photo of Laurie Metcalf, Glenda Jackson, and Alison Pill by Mackenzie Stroh.

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My Modern Met: Interview: Online Directory of Female Photographers Challenges Gender Bias

https://mymodernmet.com/alreadymade-female-commercial-photographers/

“Tired of the marginalization of female photographers in the commercial world, Jill Greenberg decided to take matters into her own hands. The successful photographer, whose work went viral due to her set of crying toddler photos, has started the directory Alreadymade. The site serves to take away any excuses for clients who feel as though they can’t find talented female photographers for high-end commercial photo shoots by giving these talented women a platform.

Although women are responsible for 85% of consumer purchases, female photographers are passed over for the majority of entertainment shoots and advertising campaigns. This means that male photographers are shaping the way we see and perceive the world the majority of the time (up to 90%)….”

Commentary

It is great to see that Jill Greenberg has added her reputation and energy to the fight for equal female participation and representation in the creative media with her Alreadymade. initiative but sad to see that, despite a long history of great photography by female photographers, the numbers continue to be so against that equality.

Some influential, inspirational female photographers in my past

leibovitz_mark_book_1024px_60pc
The Photojournalist: Two Women Explore the Modern World and the Emotions of Individuals; Mary Ellen Mark & Annie Leibovitz; text by Adrianne Marcus, with the editors of Alskog, inc., Masters of Contemporary Photography; New York; 1974. One of the first books on photography I ever bought.

While writing this article, I began compiling from memory a list of female photographers whose work has been crucial in shaping my own way of seeing since I first picked up a camera, and that list just grew and grew.

Growing up in an isolated little town in the uttermost west, I did not have access to other photographers or to museums or galleries and certainly never saw exhibitions of photography anywhere back then, but I could and did order books from lending libraries in other towns across the state via the state library system and occasionally managed to buy photography magazines, so my access to other people’s work was limited.

As I added names from memory, this list just grew and grew and it is just the tip of the iceberg.

Further information about these photographers and links to their websites and other sources are available at Wikipedia’s List of women photographers.

  • Annie Leibovitz
  • Berenice Abbott
  • Bettina Rheims
  • Cindy Palmano
  • Deborah Turbeville
  • Diane Arbus
  • Doris Ulmann
  • Dorothea Lange
  • Edith Tudor-Hart
  • Ellen von Unwerth
  • Fay Godwin
  • Florence Henri
  • Gertrude Käsebier
  • Graciela Iturbide
  • Helen Levitt
  • Hilla Becher
  • Jane Bown
  • Jill Furmanovsky
  • Jo Spence
  • Joyce Tenneson
  • Julia Margaret Cameron
  • June Newton née Browne aka Alice Springs
  • Laura Gilpin
  • Lauren Greenfield
  • Lee Miller
  • Lisette Model
  • Lotte Jacobi
  • Lucia Moholy
  • Margaret Bourke-White
  • Markéta Luskačová
  • Martine Franck
  • Mary Ellen Mark
  • Nan Goldin
  • Peggy Sirota
  • Pennie Smith
  • Sally Mann
  • Sarah Moon
  • Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen
  • Susan Meiselas
  • Sylvia Plachy
  • Tessa Traeger
  • Tina Modotti
  • Vivian Maier
  • Yevonde Middleton

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