What do Sophie Calle, Rineke Dijkstra, Susan Meiselas, and Hannah Starkey all have in common? They’re all on the list of 100 contemporary women photographers picked out by the UK’s Royal Photographic Society, after an open call for nominations. Over 1300 photographers were recommended to the organisation by the general public, which was slimmed down by a judging panel headed up by photographer Rut Blees Luxemburg.
The final list includes well-known names but also less recognised image-makers such as Native American artist Wendy Red Star, Moscow-based photographer Oksana Yushko, and Paola Paredes from Ecuador. Each Heroine will be awarded a Margaret Harper medal, named after the first female president of The Royal Photographic Society, and the first female professor of photography in the UK. An exhibition and accompanying publication will follow, all part of a bid to highlight women working in what is still a male-dominated industry.
“Although it was a truly challenging exercise having to consider 1300 women, being a part of the jury for Hundred Heroines was ultimately an incredibly stimulating and inspirational process,” says Luxemburg. “This final list reflects both the global expanse of female practice and the intergenerational input into contemporary photography. It reflects the wide range of methodologies, practices and diverse approaches of women working with the photographic medium. This is a moment of change and this list of heroines pays heed to it.”
Alighting at Peckham Rye train station in south London, a short walk across a busy market street takes you to the Bussey Building complex, a former cricket-bat factory that is now home to an assortment of bars, music venues, yoga studios and art spaces, including the Copeland Gallery. This bright exhibition space is once again the main site of Peckham 24 festival of contemporary photography, celebrating its third edition this year and running over the weekend of 18 to 20 May to coincide with Photo London – more than the 24 hours with which it launched and gave it its name. “Last year we were literally pushing people out of the door at midnight,” laugh the co-founders, Vivienne Gamble, whose Seen Fifteen gallery is in a nearby space, and artist Jo Dennis.
“As an audience, you’re hanging from her chandelier. She’s saying things will change and get better but at the same time you’re able to decide what you look at. You do listen to her words of sadness and regret but from being in her room, you can decide what to make of it,” says Natasha Caruana ahead of her interactive exhibition being featured in the House Biennial in Brighton at the end of the month. Inspired by the theme of excess, the project follows Caruana’s mother, Penny, who lives her life in extremes: designer fashion brands are a must, hours are spent scrolling through dating apps, 50 pills a day keep her alive. But on the edges of this, are we happier and what are the social implications on are communities and are health services?
Aged just 24, Khadija Saye died tragically young in the horrific fire in West London’s Grenfell Tower on 14 June – a tragedy which has cut short a life already touched by greatness. Having won a scholarship to the prestigious Rugby School at 16, Saye went on to study photography at UCA Farnham and was selected to show work alongside well-established artists such as Isaac Julien and Yinka Shonibare at the Diaspora Pavilion in Venice this summer. Here her colleagues and ex-tutors remember her