Hello, Everybody, and Happy Women's History Month! We are always extra energized about this time of year here at the foxcraft.Read more
Today, we continue our exploration of black female artists who are contributing their voices to the field of photography. These women inform the cultural dialogue surrounding identity and representation as it relates to black narratives from the past and today. They also present an important visual perspective on black womanhood.Read more
"Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim... Sometimes we must interfere." - Elie Wiesel
I hope everyone had a wonderful International Women's Day, yesterday. We have many women to celebrate for their accomplishments in the arts, science, politics and every other field. Their contributions and sacrifices have created the playing field that we operate on today. They are our inspiration as we move forward in choosing the women that we become tomorrow.
Regardless of how long it has felt, we are currently five weeks into a new Republican-ish/Nationalist administration that seems to be hellbent on following a backwards path to some time they dubbed "great" as opposed to heading toward what the rest of the world took for granted as progress. Once the shock and anger of election night dissipated, I found myself thinking a great deal about what to do next, as a woman and as an artist and as a citizen.
What is the role of an artist? Is it to educate? Should the focus be on truth and facts or empathy? What does truth mean anyway? And, is all art political?
I do not believe that the majority of the country shares all of the sexist, racist, xenophobic and generally hateful views of this president and his cabinet. I saw a nation of voters who stopped caring about the democratic process, in many cases didn't have access to the facts and ultimately felt their votes didn't count.
Democracy only works when the people are well informed. So for me, the first way to move forward is by sharing information and staying vocal. This includes speaking up for those unable to do it themselves. I intend to amplify the voices of political artists, especially the women and artists of color who continue to be underrepresented.
Right now, I would like to share a list of ideas and resources for activism. This list contains a wide array of options from making a simple call to organizing local protests. I have included as many important dates, resources and organizations as I could muster for you to continue collecting information and fighting the good fight. Please share this post with anyone you know who wants to do something, but doesn't know where to start or anyone else you know for that matter. I will try to keep it updated as new information comes my way.
- Read, educate yourself and remember that democracy only works when the people are informed.
- Organize locally. March, go to events for cultural institutions, etc.
- Learn about and vote in local elections. This includes prosecutors, school boards, city councils, county clerks, mayors, sheriffs, etc.
- Support those under attack and report bullying, bigotry and hate crimes.
- Engage in local politics. Form clubs, run yourself.
- Sign petitions.
- Call representatives and senators. Go see them.
- Protect your data
- Donate to organizations. The White House has said several social institutions will be defunded and dismantled, such as the NEA and NEH, so I plan to do what I can to contribute to them. There are many to choose from. Find the cause that gets you jazzed and show your support.
- Planned Parenthood
- International Refugee Assistance Project
- Natural Resources Defense Council
- NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
- Trevor Project
- Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund
- American Friends Services Community
- Center for Constitutional Rights
- Southern Poverty Law Center
- New York Times
- World Wildlife Fund
- Washington Post
- Environmental Defense Fund
Here's where I challenge you, Dear Reader. Please, begin or continue to engage through your voice and art. Amplify the work of politically minded artists, especially women and artists of color. Question the status quo. The things that we previous took for granted as common values are no longer that. Stay vocal. Keep fighting. And, share information with everyone you can. Add your resources and information to the comments at the bottom of the page or simply email me and I will try to update this page. And, finally, don't forget to subscribe to this blog below. The next post will showcase some exciting contemporary female photographers to mark this Women's History Month. Thank you.
“Either America will destroy ignorance or ignorance will destroy the United States." -W.E.B. Du Bois
"There is some good in this world, and it's worth fighting for." - J.R.R. Tolkien
Hello again, Everybody!
Here's the second part of my list of inspiring female photographers. I realize that this list is only a tiny example of the talented women working today in the field of photography. Please feel free to post any female photographers that you think have been overlooked in the comments section. I will try to included them in a future post.
Judy Dater (American) is known for her portraits and nudes that challenge our preconceived notions of a woman's body. Her work has strong ties to the emergence and evolution of the feminist movement.
Shadi Ghadirian (Iranian) uses humor and stereotypes to depict the Iranian woman of today and her struggle between tradition and modernity.
Agnieszka Sosnowska (Polish) takes narrative self-portraits in the Icelandic countryside that simultaneously expose strength and vulnerability.
Dita Pepe (Czech) creates self-portraits, reminiscent of casual snapshots, which explore how the relationship to one's surroundings reflects on identity.
Lucy Hilmer (American) is known primarily for her long term series, especially Birthday Suits. Through these projects she takes on the theme of time and both the things that change and those that stay the same.
Elena Chernyshova (Russian) is a documentary photographer interested in investigating different cultures, lifestyles and the human ability to adapt to extremes.
Katerina Belkina (Russian) creates dreamlike self-portraits and uses digital manipulation to impart a surreal quality while she addresses the themes of beauty and drama.
Maia Flore (French) touches upon the themes of childhood, and memory. Her narrative fabrications hover along the boundaries between reality and imagination.
Daro Sulakauri (Georgian) is a photojournalist giving a voice to human rights issues like underage marriage.
Marja Pirila (Finnish) uses light as her theme and it's influence. By using pinhole cameras and camera obscura she places the process of photography at the forefront of her imagery.
Juul Kraijer (Dutch) makes haunting, otherworldly images of female models devoid of individuality. They share components of both Renaissance paintings and Surrealism.
Hellen van Meene (Dutch) photographs teenage girls with resulting images that are both graceful and awkward. Her work touches upon our ideas of adolescence and normality.
Eugenia Maximova (Bulgarian-Austrian) sees photography as a form of visual anthropology. Her work is strongly influenced by her journalistic background.
Nina Roeder (German) recreates memories and constructs scenes to delve into time, memory and the interaction between figure and space.
Today, we will continue our celebration of Women's History Month by exploring a selection of contemporary female photographers. I have only written a few sentences and displayed a tiny sampling of these artists' amazing bodies of work in order to include more women on the list.
Please explore the links provided to find out more about these inspiring women and view other examples of their work. Also, don't forget to subscribe to this blog at the bottom of the page so you can be sure not to miss Contemporary Women Photographers Part 2.
Cindy Sherman's (American) work directs the camera back at herself as the subject, however the results aren't quite self-portraits. Her photographs address the various roles of the modern woman today and objectification in society and media.
Graciela Iturbide (Mexican) has focused her work on Mexico's indigenous people since the 1970s, often focusing on the strengths of the women in these societies.
Nan Goldin (American) creates images reminiscent of snapshots. They are personal and often sexual in nature. Her subjects have been her friends, lovers and regulars of the NYC club scene.
Sally Mann (American) is a renowned photographer who shoots intimate images of the American South and her family.
Carrie Mae Weems (American) uses storytelling in her work to address the topics of racism, sexism and class. She keeps activism as a main focus in her approach to making art.
Shirin Neshat (Iranian) explores gender, identity and politics in Muslim countries through her work.
Lorna Simpson (African-American) is a conceptual photography pioneer. Her spare imagery and frequent usage of text create works that are open-ended stories about gender and culture.
Rosalind Fox Solomon (American) is a celebrated photographer known for her portraits addressing struggle, human suffering and gender pitfalls.
Rineke Dijkstra (Dutch) has a very distinctive style of portraiture that recalls Dutch paintings of the 17th century. Her subjects are mostly adolescents and the interaction between them and the photographer.
Linda Connor (American) uses her work to explore the sacred and spiritual of this world. Her images have a luminous and meditative quality to them.
Maggie Steber (American) is a photojournalist whose work has taken her to over 60 countries. Her images depict humanitarian, social and cultural stories.
Stephanie Sinclair (American) is a photojournalist who focuses on gender and human-rights issues such as child marriage and self-immolation.
I'd like to dedicate this post to Arlene T Bakel, a woman who will be sorely missed. She was such a kind and accepting figure during the formative years of my life. She made me feel like family. Her enormous heart meant more to me than she could ever know. I would guess that the same could be said by anyone else who knew her.