Hundred Heroines: Celebrating Women in Photography Today
The Royal Photographic Society Launches International Campaign Celebrating Inspirational Women in Photography
Nominations Open 16th July – 28th September
Finalists Announced 14 December 2018
Launching this summer, Hundred Heroines: Celebrating Women in Photography Today is an international campaign initiated by The Royal Photographic Society to highlight inspirational women in photography. To celebrate the centenary year of women’s suffrage, Hundred Heroines calls upon the general public to nominate, alongside leading photography industry figures, their own modern day photography heroines and to increase awareness of the impact women have on this most universal and accessible of visual media.
Through Hundred Heroines, The Royal Photographic Society strives to highlight and promote the overlooked abundance of contemporary female photographic talent in what remains a traditionally male dominated world.
About the campaign, Del Barrett, Vice-President, 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 open throughout the summer 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 women worldwide whose work they feel marks them a contemporary heroine. These final Hundred Heroines will be announced on 14 December 2018, one hundred years to the day since some British women first voted in a general election. An exhibition will follow in 2019.
Each of the heroines will also be awarded a medal minted specifically for the project – the Margaret Harker medal. Harker (1920 – 2013) was the first female president of The Royal Photographic Society and the first female professor of photography in the UK. A distinguished photographic historian, she was instrumental in the development of photographic education.
The Royal Photographic Society has always encouraged female photographers and its historical members include Julia Margaret Cameron, Elizabeth Vignoles, and Olive Edis. In addition to the backing from the international photography community, Hundred Heroines has received support and encouragement from Helen Pankhurst, the great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst. Speaking about the initiative, Pankhurst said:
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.
Additionally Hundred Heroines has the endorsement of many female MPs, one of whom, Emma Lewell-Buck MP, South Shields, plans to pay tribute to the campaign in Parliament. Through its Hundred Heroines initiative, the Royal Photographic Society believes the status of women in contemporary photography will be redefined and realigned, allowing talents that may otherwise have been overlooked to emerge.