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.”
“I come across so many amazing women in photography, and yet their voice is nowhere near as powerful as their male counterparts,” says Del Barrett, vice-president of The Royal Photographic Society. “We are working to ensure that there are no barriers in photography. Hundred Heroines is a major step towards this, raising public awareness of the excellent work being created by women globally.”
Inspired by the 100-year anniversary of women’s suffrage in the UK, Hundred Heroines invites members of the public to nominate inspirational female photographers. Nominations are open until 30 September, then a panel of judges, chaired by photographer Rut Blees Luxemburg, will pick out the top 100 photographers. An exhibition of their work will go on show next year, and each one will receive a specially-minted medal named after Margaret Harker – the first female professor of photography in the UK, and the first female president of The Royal Photographic Society.
“This trace of communication, this Derridean postcard, started me on a journey to capture the immersive and lyrical potential of London”
Inspired by personal identity, the natural world, and the fear of dying, the three young artists in this year’s Jerwood/Photoworks Awards exhibition are presenting very different work. Picked out as winners in January 2017, all three have received a year of mentoring on their work from industry specialists such as photographer Mitch Epstein, publisher Michael Mack, and gallerist Maureen Paley. They each also received a bursary of £5000 and access to a production fund of another £5000, to make new work which goes on show in London’s Jerwood Space from 17 January-11 March then tours to Bradford and Belfast.