With the recent popularity and mainstream media attention of feminist movements such as #MeToo and Times Up an urgent need for a reassessment of gender equality within photography and creative industries is necessary in order to promote change. Current research has shown that there is a need for intersectionality within the sector. Fast Forward: Women in Photography is working to enact innovative and robust approaches to combat the lack of representation of women photographers and to affect change through collaboration, research, networking, and mentorship.
In April of 2020 Fast Forward: Women in Photography launched the Fast Forward Manifesto for Increased Involvement of Women in Photography to demand change, recognition, and equality in the creative arts sector. The manifesto has collected 1051 signatures to date from people and organisations around the world including institutions such as the PHMuseum, Photoworks, and the Royal Photographic Society. This manifesto laid the groundwork for future developments and research to progress equality for women photographers. Since the manifesto was first launched conversations about gender equality have developed and a clear need for further investigations was identified.
As a result, in Spring 2022, Fast Forward: Women in Photography held a research workshop hosted by The Hyman Foundation to bring together experts, industry professionals, and representatives from global institutions to establish the key issues today for women in photography and identify what needs to change. This report provides evidence of the feedback and knowledge that was gathered during this workshop. It evaluates data collected in 2020 by Fast Forward: Women in Photography on the representation of women photographers in exhibitions, collections, publications, and education and establishes a framework for how to move forward and progress gender equality.