All posts filed under: 1854 Awards

Announcing the judges for Female in Focus 2020

Having launched to international acclaim in 2019, Female in Focus is back to celebrate exceptional women in photography. Following last year’s finale exhibition at United Photo Industries in Brooklyn, New York – which was extended due to popular demand – 2020 will see 1854 Media and British Journal of Photography continue their commitment to discovering, promoting and rewarding new generations of women photographers whilst working to combat gender inequality in photography. Female in Focus welcomes entries from women-identifying and non-binary photographers based anywhere in the world. Presiding over this year’s winners is a judging panel of editors, directors and curators from leading global institutions: Sandra M. Stevenson – Assistant Editor, Photography Department, New York Times Kate Bubacz – Photo Director, BuzzFeed News Chiara Bardelli Nonino – Photo Editor of Vogue Italia and L’Uomo Vogue Elizabeth Houston – Owner and director, Elizabeth Houston Gallery Laylah Amatullah Barrayn – Documentary photographer & co-author of MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora Gulnara Samoilova – Founder of @WomenStreetPhotographers Carol Allen-Storey – Award-winning photographer, curator and educator The panel will select two bodies …


Female in Focus: championing a gender-equal photography industry

Female in Focus is a platform purposed to discover, promote and reward a new generation of women-identifying photographers around the world In 1985, feminist art collective the Guerilla Girls famously posed the question on a public billboard: “Do women have to be naked to get into the Met Museum?” At the time, less than 5% of the artists in the Met were women. Meanwhile, 80% of the nude bodies depicted were… You guessed it. Women. It’s no secret that women have been gravely underrepresented throughout art history. From literature through to painting, photography and beyond: since storytelling began, the masculine experience has consistently framed and filtered how we see the world. The meteoric rise of popular feminism in recent years might reasonably lead one to assume things are changing. In the art world? Not so much. Almost three decades after their original campaign, the Guerilla Girls revisited the Met’s numbers: in 2012, only 4% of artists in the Met’s modern art wing were women. 76% of the nudes were still women. In 2019, Huck reported that …


Portrait of Humanity: You Have Nothing to Worry About

In 2017, Melissa Spitz was named TIME Instagram Photographer of the Year, for her deeply personal Instagram account, cataloguing her mother’s struggles with mental illness. Spitz employs the platform to open up a conversation about mental health. One of her captions begins: ‘The first time I thought my mom killed herself I came home to find our house in a mess…’. Her account comprises beautifully shot portraits, screenshots of personal conversations, and archive footage of her mum from Spitz’s childhood. The work is arresting in its honesty; “I’ve been embarrassed by my mum for my entire life,” says Spitz. “So it’s been very liberating to say ‘fuck it, this is my mum, this is my life’.” Through her Instagram account, Spitz has built the community and support system that she lacked growing up with a mentally unwell parent. “I think about when I was a teenager and my mum was really bad, and I spent my time locked in my room to hide away,” she explains. “Had I had a community, I wouldn’t have felt …


Portrait of Humanity: My Americans

“In Chinese, the name for the United States of America translates to mean ‘the beautiful country’,” explains An Rong Xu, who has been documenting Chinese Americans for the last seven years, as part of his ongoing series My Americans. “Chinese people have been migrating to America since the 1800s, and their history has been intertwined ever since.” Xu was drawn to photograph America’s Chinese population after realising the extent to which they have been historically overlooked. “No Chinese workers are shown in the photograph of the Golden Spike when the Transcontinental Railroad was completed, although it was largely built by them,” he says. “They have been considered the perpetual foreigner. Regardless of how many generations and countless contributions they have made to American history, they will never be seen as American.” Xu’s photographs acknowledge and celebrate the enormous contribution the Chinese population has made to American society. The series is largely shot in New York City, where Xu resides. The images depict the city’s vibrant Chinatown, where traditional New Year celebrations involve Americanised floats, and …


Portrait of Humanity: Protectors of the land

“Madgo and Lokkhmi belong to the Dongria Kondh tribe,” explains Karan Kumar Sachdev of the subjects of his winning Portrait of Humanity 2019 image. “I stayed with them in their village in the Niyamgiri hills for a few days.” The tribe are a marginalised community in the south west of Odisha, India, an area that has been at the centre of a land dispute for several years. The Indian government has been campaigning to mine for bauxite in the area since the early 2000s, which the residents of the Niyamgiri hills have fiercely contested. For hundreds of years, the Dongria Kondh tribe, along with the Kutia Kondhs, and many communities of Dalits, have lived peacefully in quiet and inaccessible hamlets on the slopes of the Niyamgiri hills, but have found themselves having to fight to preserve their way of life, and their land. “The Dongria Kondh are a tight-knit community,” says Sachdev. “They are entirely removed from urban, or even rural, society as we know it.” The discovery of bauxite (a sedimentary rock that contributes …


Portrait of Humanity: The Special Eagles

“Last year, the Special Eagles made it to the Amputee World Cup in Mexico,” says Jack Lawson of the football team he photographed on a beach in Nigeria – an image that was later awarded a position as one of the winning images in the first ever Portrait of Humanity award, and will now be exhibited across the globe as part of the touring exhibition. “Football has given them all a way to embrace their disabilities and do something positive.”  Limb amputation is a common procedure in Nigeria, particularly among young men. Primary causes of amputations are diabetic complications and trauma, such as road accidents. The Special Eagles refuse to be held back by their disabilities, and have made a name for themselves in Nigeria for their success on the international Amputee Football League. Earlier this year, they reached the final at the Amputee Football African Cup of Nations, a feat celebrated by Nigeria’s minister of youth and sports.  “I wanted to show their pride at being part of the team,” says Lawson, “But also …


BJP Staff