Women Photographers International Archive (WOPHA), and Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) announce highlights of the inaugural WOPHA Congress. Titled Women, Photography, and Feminisms, this first international convening of its kind invites women photography organizations and artists around the world to an in-person and online space for dialogue, celebration, and critical debate about women’s contributions to modern and contemporary art, with the aim of rewriting the established artistic canon and provoking social change. Conceptualized by WOPHA Founder and Director, Latinx art historian, and curator Aldeide Delgado, the Congress will take place at PAMM and online on November 18 and 19, 2021 and is free and open to all. A program of city-wide photography exhibitions and related events will accompany the Congress.
“I believe in the power of photography as a political force to rearrange the structure of power and domination of society,” Delgado says. “I am inspired by the legacy of the Female Division of the Cuban Photography Club and how, as a space for women’s socialization, it broadened the possibilities for creation and recognition of the artistic praxis of women in the public space. In this same vein, I have conceived the WOPHA Congress as a space that will render women photographers visible while advancing critical debate about modern and contemporary photography by women and non-binary practitioners.”
“Pérez Art Museum Miami is the ideal place for the convening of the Women Photographers International Archive’s first Congress,” comments PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans. “As a relatively young institution, PAMM’s commitment to photography has been integrally ingrained in the life of the institution, since we became a collecting museum in 1994. I am delighted that we get to work again with our dear friend and colleague, esteemed art historian and curator, Aldeide Delgado.”
The WOPHA Congress, a Knight Arts Challenge winner, is organized with the guidance of an Advisory Committee comprising prominent international photography curators and thought leaders Idurre Alonso, Associate Curator of Latin American Collections at the Getty Research Institute; Mane Adaro, Director and Editor of Atlas: Visual Imaginary, art historian and curator; the late Maurice Berger, writer, cultural historian, and curator; Alpesh Kantilal Patel, Associate Professor of Contemporary Art and Theory at Florida International University (FIU), and Marie Vickles, Director of Education at PAMM.
More than 25 internationally-recognized scholars and artists from around the world will participate in the two-day interactive congress, including Ariella Aïsha Azoulay, Professor of Modern Culture and Media and Comparative Literature at Brown University; Laylah Amatullah Barrayn, Co-founder of MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora; Elizabeth Ferrer, writer and curator; Anna Fox, Founder of Fast Forward: Women in Photography; Roxana Marcoci, Senior Curator of Photography at MoMA; Abigail Solomon-Godeau, Professor Emerita at University of California; Maggie Steber, award-winning documentary photographer, and Deborah Willis, Professor of Photography and Imaging at NYU.
Women, Photography, and Feminisms will bring to center stage the idea of photography as a collaborative practice, addressing topics of feminist aesthetics, the decolonization of archives, and curatorial strategies. The program will present seminal and emerging research about women photographers’ work and changes to institutions and their structures and hierarchies in a fundamental way.
A special conversation between Delgado and Andrea Nelson, Associate Curator in the Department of Photographs at the National Gallery of Art and Curator of the exhibition The New Woman Behind the Camera, organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington in association with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York will take place in November. The conversation will explore the curatorial process behind this groundbreaking exhibition, which will reveal the significant impact women have had on the history of modern photography.
While the WOPHA Congress will advance WOPHA’s wider global mission, it also aims to establish Miami as an international center and meeting place for modern and contemporary photography and critical conversations around the role of women in photography.
Partnerships with leading Miami-based and international arts and photography organizations, among them Arts Connection Foundation, Green Family Foundation, Green Space Miami, El Espacio 23, Faena Art, Lucie Foundation, Oolite Arts, The Betsy Hotel, and Rubell Museum are expanding WOPHA’s local and global footprint. These partners will host a vibrant and collaborative program of photography exhibitions, performances, artist residencies and studio visits as part of the Congress.
A newly-formed partnership with 1854 Media, publisher of British Journal of Photography, brings the highly-anticipated exhibition of works by the winners of its 2021 Female in Focus photography competition, for which Delgado is a juror, to Miami for the first time. The exhibition will take place at the newly-inaugurated Green Space Miami gallery on the eve of Art Basel Miami Beach.
The health and safety of attendees at the WOPHA Congress and its related events are a priority. The organization will follow CDC, state, and local guidance.