Hundred Heroines – celebrating women photographers

Launched this summer, the Hundred Heroines: Celebrating Women in Photography Today is a campaign initiated by the Royal Photographic Society and it aims at celebrating women photographers from all over the world.

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Hundred Heroines invites the general public, alongside leading photography industry figures, to nominate their own modern day photography heroines and to increase awareness of the impact women have on this most universal and accessible of visual media.

The photography world has always been dominated by male figures, but in the back – hidden by the power of patriarchy – is a whole new world of female photographers, working as hard and as beautifully as their fellow male photographers.

About the campaign, Del Barrett, Vice-President of The Royal Photographic Society, said:

I come across so many amazing women in photography, and yet their voice is nowhere near as powerful as their male counterparts. 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.

Nominations will be closing on 28 September 2018. A panel of judges, chaired by artist, photographer, and Society Fellow, Rut Blees Luxemburg (RCA), will then select the one hundred heroines worldwide whose work would be considered representative of the modern day heroine photographer. These final Heroines will be announced on 14 December 2018, one hundred years after some British women first voted in a general election. In 2019 an exhibition will take place with the works of these hundred women. Each of them will be awarded a medal created specifically for this project – the Margaret Harker medal.

Margaret Harker (1920 – 2013) was the first female president of The Royal Photographic Society and the first female professor of photography in the UK. As a distinguished photographic historian, she was instrumental in the development of photographic education.

The RPS has always incouraged and supported female photographers: Julia Margaret Cameron, Elizabeth Vignoles, and Olive Edis are just some of the historical members of this society. This campaign has also been supported by none other than Helen Pankhurst, the great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst.

These are her words on the project:

What a wonderful way to mark the centenary of women’s suffrage. If my grandmother and great–grandmother were able to come back and look at the world today, I think they would be heartened by much of the progress in women’s rights. However, they would also be spurring us on, highlighting how much we still have to do – given ongoing levels of gender inequality in almost all spheres – including in the world of photography.

To nominate your Heroine photographer just go on the RPS website, or in alternative you can nominate via Instagram by tagging the project handle @RPS100Heroines with a comment as to why you are nominating your photographic heroine.

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