All posts tagged: Female in Focus

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 …

2020-03-04T14:45:49+01:00

Female in Focus: Bringing women photographers to the foreground

Female in Focus is an initiative purposed to discover, promote and reward a new generation of women-identifying and non-binary photographers around the world. In Linda Nochlin’s seminal 1971 essay Why Are There No Great Women Artists?, she poses a presiding explanation as to why, throughout history, those of us lacking the good fortune to have been born white, middle class and above all, male, have remained so steadfastly on the back foot (in the arts, as in a hundred other areas). “The fault lies not in our stars, our hormones, our menstrual cycles, or our empty internal spaces,” says Nochlin, “but in our institutions and our education”. How, then, do we – as an industry, and as a society – collectively unlearn the centuries of artistic and cultural erasure of women? With the last decade’s unprecedented rise in popular feminism, wider attitudes are ostensibly changing. But the numbers? They’re just not. Between 2013 and 2017, men made up between 89% and 96% of commercial photographers. Less than 14% of leading US fashion magazine covers are shot …

2020-08-15T16:38:07+01:00

Female in Focus: Buttons For Eyes

Priya Kambli physically manipulates old family photographs and then rephotographs the altered artefacts. In her Female in Focus winning series, she employs a variety of materials, particularly those that are grounded in everyday use. Flour, turmeric, and strips of wallpaper embellish old pictures of her childhood in India. “I re-contextualise these familial associations for my own artistic and creative purposes,” explains Kambli, “But also as a way of embellishing my past and connecting it to the present.”  The photographer is interested in using her own experience of emigration to contribute to the broader cultural debate on migrant narratives. “As significant political forces try to suppress the concerns of those who are perceived as different, the need to present a variety of perspectives is simply more urgent,” says Kambli. “Sharing our stories has a civic and social impact.” While Kambli’s need to decipher and address her family photographs is personal, the work always touches on universal themes, with the potential to start a dialogue about cultural differences and global similarities.  Kambli describes the process of creating …

2020-03-04T14:45:15+01:00

Female in Focus: Cosmic Drive

“Cosmic Drive primarily explores the way humans handle ignorance,” says Katinka Schuett of her Female in Focus winning series, which examines the contradictory spheres of fantasy and hard science. “I am interested in our perceptions of space, and the question of whether or not life can be found in the universe.” Schuett is as concerned with fantasy as she is with facts, merging the two to consider the illusions we create when there is a void of information.  The photographer’s interest in outer space was initially people-driven – she began Cosmic Drive by photographing people who catalogued possible UFO sightings and extraterrestrial phenomena in Germany. “I’m fascinated by humans’ preoccupation with things that are not visible or tangible,” explains Schuett.  Many of her photographs play on clichéd tropes of space travel. In one image, an alien lies on a hospital bed as if undergoing a medical examination, its face an exact replica of aliens in Hollywood films and science fiction books, and in another, an index finger is bright red and lit up, like the …

2020-03-04T14:45:04+01:00

Female in Focus: Meet the winning photographers

This year, British Journal of Photography launched its inaugural Female in Focus award, with an open call inviting female-identifying photographers to submit their work to be part of an exhibition at United Photo Industries Gallery, during Photoville in New York. The aim of the exhibition was to bridge photography’s gender imbalance and to elevate the work and careers of women. The two winning series and 20 winning single images have now been chosen, and the first Female in Focus exhibition will open at United Photo Industries Gallery on 22 October 2019, and run until 15 November 2019. One of the defining features of the exhibition is that there is no strict theme. Each image has been shot through the female gaze, a perspective that rarely frames the images we see. However, beyond that, the photographs vary hugely in style and subject matter, resulting in a diverse exhibition.  Among the winning single images is Nancy Newberry’s photograph, The Sentinels, which has been taken from her series Smoke Bombs and Border Crossings, a contemporary Spaghetti Western staged …

2020-03-04T14:45:00+01:00

Female in Focus: “When making artwork, your gender matters”

Female in Focus is a new award that seeks to elevate exceptional work by female-identifying photographers.Throughout the submission period, we are speaking to photographers whose work encompasses the values that lie at the heart of the award. Pixy Liao’s work sheds light on traditional gender roles, asking us to question their place in society, and in particular, heterosexual relationships. “Our society has all kinds of expectations of us depending on our gender,” says Pixy Liao. “I’m interested in exploring who people would be if they didn’t have these expectations placed on them.” Liao has been shooting her series Experimental Relationship over the last 10 years. In the series of playful images, she subverts the traditional gender roles that lay the foundations of many heterosexual relationships, asking us to re-examine what is considered to be normal. Liao’s life and work are inexplicably intertwined, and Experimental Relationship is constantly evolving with her relationship. Drawing on life with her boyfriend Moro, who is five years her junior, Liao celebrates and examines their sex, gender and power dynamics. “The …

2019-04-30T09:57:04+01:00

Female in Focus Editor’s Pick: Breaking a routine

Our online editor has selected the best entries from last month’s applications to Female in Focus. Juliette Cassidy is the BJP team’s favourite of the Editor’s Pick selection, winning a feature on BJP-online. “I was amazed by Senegal,” says Juliette Cassidy, “the way the light shone on people’s skin, the country itself, and a lot of the clothes people wear.” Cassidy, a fashion photographer, took her second trip to Senegal last year. Shooting her series The Day I Went to Africa, the trip challenged her to step outside of her working routine and  photograph away from her usual environment, which was centred around studios and London’s fashion circuit. “I wanted to be emotionally and physically distant from what I was used to photographing,” Cassidy explains, “but at the same time, I wanted to maintain an element that felt familiar to me, which was fashion.” While in Senegal, Cassidy’s approach shifted. Instead of casting her subjects, as would be the case in London, she photographed  individuals that she met by chance. With no deadline or commission …

2019-04-30T09:55:25+01:00

Female in Focus: Acceptance or resignation?

“I became exposed to this completely different environment,” says Yagazie Emezi, speaking of her experience moving from Nigeria to the US. Having spent her whole life in Nigeria the photographer relocated to the US when she was 16 years old to study. The experience proved formative and has since become the focus of many of her photographic projects. “My work always stems from something personal,” says Emezi. This rings particularly true in the series Process of Re-learning Bodies, an ongoing project in which she explores the process by which people reclaim their bodies after becoming physically scarred. Looking at the fragility and endurance of the human form, and the acceptance of self within African communities, the project seeks to understand the emotional implications of being scarred, and how factors such as community, environment, and socioeconomic class can influence an individual’s psychological adjustment to their new, scarred bodies. “I have a very visible scar on my leg,” says Emezi. “Growing up in my hometown in Nigeria, I wasn’t self-conscious about the scar, because I was in …

2019-04-30T09:59:47+01:00

BJP Staff