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.”
Photography is often considered a solitary pursuit, but the Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) in Toronto, Canada hopes to overturn this conception with a research project led by artists, scholars, and curators such as Ariella Azoulay, Wendy Ewald, Susan Meiselas, Leigh Raiford, and Laura Wexler. Now an exhibition at RIC called Collaboration: A Potential History of Photography is putting their work on view. Featuring approximately 90 photographic projects the work on show demonstrates some of the many ways photographers have collaborated with their subjects and other participants. It includes Wendy Ewald’s Reciprocating in Arabic installation, which combines image and text in an attempt to show the experience of walking through the Arabic language, and WEB Du Bois’ The Potential of the Archive I, a look into the history and present challenges of black America, among many other projects.
What does the perfect art college look like? The Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne in Switzerland, profiled in our July issue (now on sale at newsagents in the UK and selected countries abroad, or via iTunes for our iPad edition, or directly from The BJP Shop), must come pretty close, with its balance of the vocational, the conceptual and a dash of the downright weird. Not to mention first-class facilities housed in a state-of-the-art building near Lake Geneva, sensibly priced course fees (€800 per term), and a workshop programme made up of visiting lectures by some of the world’s leading photographers, including Thomas Mailaender’s now legendary woodland survival course. If that all sounds a little different to your own art college experience, then how about this for a schedule: “I think something very specific about ECAL is that we are very pragmatic – we start at 8am in the morning and we finish quite late,” says Milo Keller, the photography course leader since 2012. “The students have to work really, really hard – we don’t …