Female in Focus 2021

1854 and BJP announce the winners of Female in Focus 2021 in collaboration with MPB and Women Photographers International Archive. From 1854 Media and British Journal of Photography, the Female in Focus award launched in 2019 in response to staggering gender imbalance in photography. Globally, 70-80% of photography students are women. Yet they account for only 13-15% of professional photographers. And when women’s stories aren’t recognised, we’re not getting the whole picture.
 
From Imogen Freeland’s poignant take on motherhood to Marzena Han’s look at the “social invisibility” felt by middle-aged women – Paola Vivas’ defiant portrait of Latino identity to Thandiwe Muriu’s vibrant celebration of African individuality – Female in Focus 2021 weaves a raw and intricate tapestry of women’s experiences from around the world.
 
The winners were selected by an internationally esteemed panel of judges including Joanna Milter, Director of Photography for the New Yorker; Aldeide Delgado, Founder and Director of Women Photographers International Archive (WOPHA); Holly Fraser, Editor-in-Chief of WePresent, and others.
 
The exhibition – sponsored by MPB, the world’s largest online platform for used photo and video kit – will go on show at Green Space Miami as part of the inaugural WOPHA Congress in Miami, USA, from 18 November 2021 - 18 January 2022, as well as a UK exhibition later this year.
 
Female in Focus in Miami is made possible thanks to the support from Green Family Foundation, Green Space Miami, and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council, and the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of county commissioners.

© Imogen Freeland, Female in Focus 2021 Single Image Winner

“In a fertile moment where we witness the rise of initiatives oriented to render visible women’s long-neglected contributions to photographic arts, the Female in Focus award represents an extraordinary opportunity for emerging talents to have their work promoted by one of the most prestigious photography platforms. It provides recognition, professional opportunities and fosters collaboration among an international supporting network of women in photography. I’m honored to co-present the Female in Focus exhibition as part of the celebration of the world’s first-ever WOPHA Congress, an international convening that invites women photography organizations from around the world to participate alongside acclaimed art historians, curators, and preeminent women photographers on the topics of women, photography and feminisms.”
Aldeide Delgado, Founder and Director of Women Photographers International Archive (WOPHA)

© Marzena Hans, Female in Focus 2021 Single Image Winner

Winner — Series Category
My Hijab Has a Voice: Revisited
Jodie Bateman

My Hijab Has a Voice: Revisited is a series of bold portraits of both the artist and her sister, which investigate the experiences of Muslim women from an autobiographical perspective.

Shot in Bateman’s home in Surrey, England, the series invites audiences into a Muslim woman’s private space with the intention to “humanise”. Adopting poses that mimic historical paintings famous for their objectification of women, Bateman and her sister sit fully-clothed and defiant, turning outdated stereotypes on their heads.

“It is vital to listen to Muslim woman’s voices, as often they are silenced and spoken for by men,” says Bateman. “Often Muslim women are only seen to wear black, and are portrayed as ‘old fashioned’ or ‘backwards’ for their choice to cover their bodies. Western society continuously feeds the stereotype of oppression — which has been followed by acts of banning the niqab and burkini, and even going to the lengths of banning the hijab in professional places in some countries.”

© Jodie Bateman, Female in Focus 2021 Series Winner

© Jodie Bateman, Female in Focus 2021 Series Winner (2)

© Jodie Bateman, Female in Focus 2021 Series Winner (1)

“At MPB, we understand the transformative power of photography and why it’s critical to address gender inequality in the industry. We are committed to increasing opportunities in visual storytelling by putting photo and video kit into more hands, giving more people a voice, and helping to visualize a more sustainable future. We’re incredibly proud to sponsor Female in Focus to shine a light on the extraordinary work of women and non-binary photographers around the globe”
Sophie Collins, Chief Marketing Officer, MPB

© Paola Jiménez Quispe, Female in Focus 2021 Series Winner

Winner — Series Category
Rules for Fighting (Reglas para pelear)
Paola Jiménez Quispe

When Paola Jiménez Quispe was five years old, her father was murdered in their native city of Lima, Peru. After googling his name one day, she found an article about Lima’s “uncontrollable wave” of violent crime: in it, a photograph showed her father covered in blood on the passenger seat of his car. “After several years, I began to investigate deeply into his murder,” says the artist. “I had an urge to build a relationship with him; this is what motivated me.”

Rules for Fighting is a compelling amalgamation of photographs, texts and objects relating to Jiménez’s research into her father’s death, and a manifestation of her grief: from rolls of film he made to his personal notebook; belongings that were found on him when he was killed to police documents from the case. But more than simply re-investigating his murder, the work is about “who my father was to my family,” says the artist. “What kind of partner he was to my mother… And finally, what his loss meant and the trauma that has been with us for a long time.”

© Paola Jiménez Quispe, Female in Focus 2021 Series Winner (1)

© Paola Jiménez Quispe, Female in Focus 2021 Series Winner (2)

Traversing tales of beauty and pain, joy and injustice, humans and nature, the Single Image Category comprises work from 20 photographers around the world.

Imogen Freeland, Natalia Garcia, Clancy Gebler Davies, Marzena Hans, Maryam Khastoo, Yushi Li, Thandiwe Muriu, Joanna Musial, Orna Naor, P. Wamaitha Ng'ang'a, Stephanie Noritz, Bailey Quinlain, Anouchka Renaud Eck, Layla Sailor, Kali Spitzer, Lebo Thoka, Annie Tobin, Teri Varhol, Paola Vivas, Virginia Woods-Jack

Explore all winners

Click on an image to open the gallery

Female in Focus is a photography award from 1854 Media, publisher of British Journal of Photography. After launching in 2019, the award aims to highlight and give a platform to the exceptional work of women photographers around the world.

Winners Gallery at 1854 Media

 

This year’s award has been judged by

Aldeide Delgado, Founder and Director of Women Photographers International Archive (WOPHA)
Joanna Milter, Director of photography for The New Yorker
Anahita Ghabaian-Etehadieh, Founder and Director of Silk Road Gallery
Adama Delphine Fawundu, Visual Artist & Co-author of MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora
Emmeline Yong, Co-Founder and Centre Director of Objectifs
Holly Fraser, Editor-in-chief of WePresent/WeTransfer
Louise Fedotov-Clements, Artistic Director, QUAD & Director, FORMAT International Photography Festival Derby
Anna Fox, Photographer and Director of Fast Forward: Women in Photography
Touria El Glaoui, Founding Director, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair

 

About 1854 Media & British Journal of Photography

1854 Media is an award-winning digital media organisation with a global audience of photographers, arts lovers and industry experts.

At 1854’s core is British Journal of Photography, the world’s longest running photography title, which has been showcasing pioneers of the art form since 1854. It manifests in a monthly publication that takes an international perspective on contemporary photography, focusing on fine art and documentary, and the cutting edge of editorial and commercial practices. It has also created internationally renowned photography awards – including OpenWalls, Portrait of Britain™, Female in Focus, BJP International Photography Award, and Portrait of Humanity™ all of which aim to discover and promote new talent.

Our visual content agency, Studio 1854, helps brands use the power of photography and video to cultivate and engage larger audiences, by leveraging our relationships with the world’s top photographic influencers and our understanding of the visual content that engages them.

 

About MPB

MPB transforms the way that people buy, sell and trade in photo and video kit. The world’s largest online platform for used photography and videography equipment, MPB is a destination for everyone, whether you’ve just discovered your passion for visual storytelling or you’re already a pro.

Founded by Matt Barker in 2011, MPB has always been committed to making kit more accessible and affordable, and helping to visualise a more sustainable future. We recirculate more than 300,000 items of used kit every year, extending the life and creative potential of photo and video equipment for creators around the world.

Headquartered in the creative communities of Brighton, Brooklyn and Berlin, the MPB team includes trained camera experts and seasoned photographers and videographers who bring their passion to work every day to deliver outstanding service. Every piece of kit is inspected carefully by our product specialists and comes with a six-month warranty to give our customers peace of mind that buying used doesn’t mean sacrificing reliability.

 

About WOPHA

Women Photographers International Archive (WOPHA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to research, promote, support, and educate, in partnership with other international organizations, on the role of those who identify as women or non-binary in photography. Having begun as a dynamic database showcasing the unique stories of women-identified Cuban photographers, WOPHA has expanded its geographic scope to include photographers around the globe. The organization is currently documenting the diverse artistic production of Latin American and Latinx communities, including photographers from Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and artists of Latin American descent living and working in the United States. Register here for the WOPHA Congress in Miami from Nov 18-19, 2021.

 

About Green Space Miami

Green Space Miami is the Green Family Foundation's new art space. Guided by the Foundation’s principles of inclusion, community empowerment and education. Green Space Miami centers marginalized stories at the intersections of lived experience, hosted in a space for dialogue. Green Space Miami’s mission is to be a catalyst for action around critical social issues, collaborating with community partners and educational institutions.

TAGREE, I love the cultural work you do, I donate to show you my sincere appreciation:

or become a reader with a TAGREEplus+Pass for unlimted access

Respect Copyright!