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Researcher launches international workshops to investigate global gender imbalance in photography

One of our researchers has launched the first in a series of international workshops which compare the experiences of female photographers from different regions of the world.

Fast Forward 2, Women in Photography involves seven international partners and is led by UCA’s Professor Anna Fox, who says: “Despite many women receiving an excellent education in photography, the industry is still heavily dominated by men. Currently, women are significantly underrepresented both commercially and as artists – an issue that exists globally.”

The first workshop, which was hosted by Dr Patricia Azevedo at the Universidad Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG) in Belo Horizonte, introduced the work of emerging and established photographers in Brazil.

“Many of the photographers whose art was presented during the workshop have hardly been known outside of South America,” says Professor Fox. “Discussion included making critical assessments of the representation of women photographers and considering curatorial strategies to draw attention to change.”

Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, the workshops follow the success of the first phase of the project, Women in Photography, which explored and identified the issues faced by women in photography at a major conference at Tate Modern in 2015.

Professor Fox adds: “Gender politics has always featured highly on the UCA curriculum. A significant proportion of students studying Photography at UCA are female and we feel incredibly strongly about ensuring their talent, skills and expertise are recognised when they graduate and beyond. In addition to helping our students grow and succeed as artists, we aim to ensure that students have a well-rounded understanding of the industry and the issues that affect it.”

UCA graduate and network facilitator for the project, artist Maria Kapajeva, is organising the next six workshops which are set to take place in India, Finland, Nigeria, US and UK.

The seven international partners involved in Fast Forward 2 are: Dillon + Lee (Gallery), New York; Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte; Lagos International Photography Festival; AKJ Mass Communications Research at Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi; Slade, at University College London and The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki.

Tate Modern will host a conference in collaboration with Professor Fox at the end of the workshop series in 2019.