Workshop in New Delhi, India / February, 2018

Indu Antony. Quick Gun Murugan, ManiFest, 2012

The third research workshop Fast Forward2: Women in Photographyfunded with The Leverhulme Trust International Network Grant, took place at AJK Mass Communication Research Centre at Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi on February 27-28, 2018, hosted by Professor Sabeena Gadihoke.

Presentations and open discussion took place over the two-day workshop around ideas and themes concerned with the work and position of women photographers today. The summaries of presentations are below.

Presentations

VAL WILLIAMS

Professor, UAL Photography and the Archive Research Centre (UK)

Supporting Women’s Photography through Writing and Curatorship

Val Williams spoke about a history of her working practice as a curator of photography. She started by introducing Photography and the Archive Research Centre (PARC) based at University for the Arts London (UAL) where she is the Director and noted that for the last 5 years all of their exhibitions have included a minimum of 50% women. She went on to talk about Impressions Gallery (The UK’s second independent photography galleries and now one of the most significant in Europe) which she started with Andy Sproxton in the 1970’s.  Many of the exhibitions there were men and this is what led Val to do her first book The Other Observers; Women in Photography now in its second edition. The exhibition The Other Observers opened at the National Media Museum and went onto the Photographers Gallery – it got a lot of attention and that because it came at the right moment. In this research project she introduced a number of women who had largely been overlooked or even not considered at all in the burgeoning histories of photography. A major part of the work for this book was looking at archives (often hidden) in big institutions. Along with discovering this lost work came a whole number of fascinating human stories and she emphasised the significance of this for today’s students to think about – research is not just about things (as in objects such as photographs) but research is about people too. During the project Val rediscovered a number of photographers who had literally disappeared including Grace Robertson whose career had faded behind the career of her husband. Val also presented Warworks, – women photographers responding to  war – a large scale museum show and publication that counteracted the conventional narratives of war photography. More recently she has worked on the Janet Mendhelson exhibition and book about a body of work only recently discovered by Tish Murtha both photographers are only recently celebrated.

A slide from Val Williams’s presentation

Val Williams is a curator and writer, and is Professor of the History and Culture of Photography at the University of the Arts London, Director of the Photography and the Archive Research Centre and of the Moose on the Loose Biennale of Research. She is also an editor of the Journal of Photography & Culture.  Curated projects include How We Are (Tate Britain; Daniel Meadows : Early Photographs (Library of Birmingham and touring); Warworks (Victoria &Albert Museum and touring ); Martin Parr Retrospective (Barbican Art Gallery and touring ) ; The Dead (National Media Museum and touring); Who’s Looking at the Family? (Barbican Art Gallery). She was the curator of the ‘Ken To be destroyed’ exhibition, in UK and Germany, and is currently co-curating ‘Resort’ with Karen Shepherdson for Turner Contemporary and tour. Her essay on Peter Mitchell was published in the ‘New Refutation of the Viking 1V Space Mission’ in 2017 and her essay on the British documentarist Tish Murtha Archive was  published in late 2017.

ANUSHA YADAV

Photo practitioner / Founder of Indian Memory / Visual History Interventionist / Art & Photo Book Design (India)

Founded in 2010, Indian Memory Project is an online archive tracing the histories and identities of the Indian Subcontinent via personal images and stories. With almost 838 categories devised to understand the Subcontinent, many narratives and images reveal stories on women’s participation in the field of photography. Anusha Yadav presented at the workshop stories about few women, from the archive, or discovered in research who have actively participated in photographic arts – be it printing for their male spouses, art direction, managing the photo studio, and even taking photographs themselves.

A slide from Anusha Yadav’s presentation

Anusha Yadav is a photo practitioner, an interventionist of visual histories, and an Art/Photo books designer. She graduated from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad in 1997. Anusha is the founder of Indian Memory Projec– The world’s first and most known online visual & narrative archive that traces personal identities & histories of the Indian Subcontinent via images found in personal archives. The project has pioneered an alternate method for personal histories of the world to be understood. It has been featured in almost every part of the globe as exemplary, and has inspired 13 countries to implement similar formats. Her venture, The Memory Company, founded in 2013, is a creative consultancy and interventionist that researches and develops historical, cultural & contemporary material based archives, books, exhibitions, campaigns and merchandise. Anusha’s visual practices on photography, archives and book design have been exhibited and published countries around the world. She is a speaker on renowned panels and the recipient of several National and International acclaims and awards. She lives in Mumbai, India. www.anushayadav.com

SOHAIL AKBAR

Associate Professor, AJK  Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia (India)

An intervention and analysis of my Mother as a photographer and archivist

Sohail Akbar presented his intervention and analysis of his Mother as a photographer and archivist. A Medical professional by training she has keenly documented her life with the camera and the photo album. This is done at a moment of time in India’s history which saw major transformations specially for women. He  drew the attention of the workshop participants towards his research in observing his Mother’s photography.

Image from Sohail Akbar’s family archive

An avid Practitioner and Teacher of Still Photography Sohail Akbar’s association with photography goes back more than two decades when he was a student at Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia. He has taught photography to MA Mass Communication students and designed the Post Graduate Diploma course here. Apart from development of photography teaching here in Jamia Millia Islamia the National Open Schooling system has used his expertise in designing their curriculum for the 10 + 2 course which is taught country wide. Along with teaching photography Sohail Akbar is also a practitioner Film maker, Still photographer and Photography researcher. He has made a series of documentary/educational films on topics as diverse as biotechnology, victims of conflict and issues around the transgender people. His still photography work has featured for international organisations like United Nations, World Bank and publications like the Financial Times of London and Little Brown, England. Two solo exhibitions have been mounted by him, the last being in April 2011 at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. The family photo album is the area of research interest to him and he has been exploring it in his writing and documentation work.

NAGMA SAHI ANSARI

PhD candidate, AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia (India)

Deconstructing traditional Indian family album through conscious self representation of women in Contemporary Visual Practice

“Revisiting the family albums in age of the digital, what one finds is an interesting contrast of experience, mobility as well as re-negotiation against the hegemonic understanding of the intimate family spaces. Through the practices of visuality and spatiality, working its way in our everyday experience, we come to discover a cognitive process of identity creation and bargain. The project opens dialectic on how networked technology opens a space of self discovery and sets a pace for divergent rituals and play of identity in a home space. It not only captures a parallel narrative of everyday experience but looks at the how photographs work as an evidence of mobility. The presentation is a timely intervention to look into the idea of identity, representation and mobility of women who actively captivate their positions in contemporary canon of personalized storytelling.”

Image from Nagma Sahi Ansari’s presentation

Nagma Sahi Ansari is a research scholar (practice based) at the A.J.K. Mass Communication Research Center (New Delhi, India). Her research project examines the presentation and of self through memory and performance using “selfies” and other representations on networked and social media. Her work seeks to better understand how these images of self, which circulate instantaneously across a number of platforms, are received and understood by multiple audiences in local and global contexts.  She has previously worked for Times of India (National Newspaper) and Manushi (an online journal and NGO, under CSDS) for several projects. Currently she works as an independent script writer for documentary films. Other than being a cinema enthusiast her work discovers various themes around gender, society and cultures.

NANDINI VALLI MUTHIAN

Photographer (India)

Art Residency work for ACAD Calgary

Art Residency work for ACAD Calgary, Canada which took place in 2012 which will hopefully see the light of day this year, in Calgary and some commissioned briefs that Nandini has worked on in the past . A few recent projects that are yet to be seen/shown. Her work has been more reality and documentary based in the last few years.

Image: Nandini Valli Muthiah, from work ‘And the year was 1988’ (2012).

Born in 1976, Nandini has lived most of her life in Chennai. She found photography by accident when wanting to apply to film schools for Cinematography.  She works with her partner, her husband on most of her photography projects. He is the DOP and producer for her works. She loves doing large scale productions but finds that anything larger than life requires a great deal of detailing and not every idea translates very well into a photography project.  Nandini is keen to get into video works but is too lazy to work on it. She had a baby boy 1.5 years ago and has taken time off to focus on family affairs. She is avidly looking for commissioned briefs to get her back into action.

INDU ANTONY

Visual Artist (India)

A struggle and a voice wanting to be heard

“My work has always been centred around these themes as it has been my own battlefield.” Indu Antony spoke of the development of her career and how she moved from being a doctor to being an artist and struggled along the way to get approval for her new profession. Her earliest project Broken Strings observed in black and white an elderly person’s home where she found some distressing sites. She moved onto the project It’s a beautiful World Outside that gives a voice to her subjects through sound recordings combined with portraits and images of what they dreamt to see. The next work that she spoke about was initiated by an investigation into the breast tax. In her work Indu makes a contemporary re-presentation of a response to this tax while paying homage to Nangeli who cut off her breast (as a symbolic gesture) in order to pay the breast tax

Image: Indu Antony, from work ‘Broken Strings’.

Indu Antony is visual artist originally from Kerala based out of Bangalore, India. Born and raised in a conventional Indian family, she fulfilled her parents dream to be a physician and went on to follow her own dream that revolved around visual imagery. Having to rebel conventional beliefs one finds this earlier influences seeping into her work. She has exhibited in various spaces and galleries. She won the Toto funds Award for photography for the year 2011. Her visual aesthetics are supposed to have tinges of activism and feminism with a sprinkle of performance. Indu has been working closely with the LGBT community. She has worked on a photo installation dealing with issues of body positivity among the transgender community in Bangalore. The first phase was exhibited in 2012 and she is working on the second phase of this project. She was the first photographer to have a large-scale body of work on the theme of drag kings in India. www.induantony.com

ANOLI PERERA

Founding member and member of Board of Directors of Theertha International Artists Collective (Sri Lanka)

Anoli Perrera’s presentation discussed  her work focusing particularly on those which incorporates photography within its format.  She has been using photographs extensively for her installations and two dimensional work done with regard to the series, ‘Memory Keeper’.  In her photo-performance work, the primary focus is on the performative body and its shifting predicaments.  For Perrera, photography become an essential raw material which refers to socio-political and cultural phenomena the photographs themselves addresses in each context.

Image: Anoli Perrera, from work ‘Dinner Table’ (2013).

Anoli Perera was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 1962. She took a degree in political science, economics and sociology at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka followed by a postgraduate diploma in International Affairs. She then lived in the USA between 1988 and 1992 where she followed continuing art education programmes at Santa Barbara City College, California and art training in stone carving at the Artworks: The Visual Art School of Princeton for Continuing Education, New Jersey, USA.  She has been practicing as a visual artist for over 25 years and have exhibited her art extensively. She has been part of the wave of artists in the 1990s who have professed a new ideological position in the art production in relation to the contemporary art knowledge and social context in Sri Lanka. Her work engages critically on thematic that range from women’s issues, history, myth to identity, colonialism and post-colonial anxieties.  Anoli Perera is a co-founder and a director of the Theertha International Artists Collective, a progressive art initiative based in Colombo which maintains an experimental art space Red Dot Gallery. She currently lives and works in New Delhi, India. Website.

CHINAR SHAH

Faculty, Coordinator of Photography Discipline, Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Independent Artist & Curator (India)

Presentation on contemporary young women photographers who are pushing the boundaries of the medium in India and the role of education in it

The presentation explored ways in which contemporary young women photographers are pushing the boundaries of the medium in India and a close look at the role of education in it. While gender remains one of the important themes for women photographers, they also explore other premises while occupying the position of a woman photographer. Shinar Shah presented these photographies of female students, works of herself and other faculties teaching photography and some of the curatorial engagements she has had in last few years, its challenges and rewards.

Image: a cover of the book

Chinar Shah is a Bangalore based artist from India. She currently teaches at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore, where she is a coordinator for photography discipline. She is co-editor of Photography in India, From Archives to Contemporary Practice, published by Bloomsbury, UK, 2018. She also runs a home gallery called Home Sweet Home that uses various domestic spaces as a way to make and show work. Her work ‘Silenced Ruptures’ (2012) on the Gujarat riots has been part of a travelling memorial exhibition around India. Her work ‘Aravanis’ (2015) was shown at the Tate Liverpool and subsequently at festivals worldwide including the Birmingham Photo Festival and Art Bengaluru. She has been a recipient of many grants and artists exchange programmes. Some of the recent ones include, the Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation grant in collaboration with the Mumbai Art Room and Galleri BOX grant from Gothenburg. She did her PGDP/MFA in Photography from National Institute of Design, India/UCA Farnham, UK and MA in Literature from English and Foreign Languages University, India.

AZADEH AKHLAGHI

Artist (Iran)

Iranian women’s struggle for democracy during the 21st century

Spoke about her work and how she uses constructed imagery to make comment on Iranian life. The work is a response to the violence that has grown out of political difference. Azadeh deals with the history of this political violence dating back to 1906, constitutional Revolution of Iran. She reconstructs the scenes of political murders using actors, camera and lighting technicians. Each image is based on a long research process of excavation of stories behind the scenes of each image s. She went on to speak about The Mother of Tabriz, a large scale, highly detailed work made with hundreds of actors and depicting a shocking historical story – the invasion of Tabriz in 1911 – the Russians invading the city and the atrocities that followed. The work depicts the horror of the story in intricate detail and the construction of the image is influenced by history painting. She chose this moment in Iran’s violent history because of the story of two young boys who were murdered for being nationalists and a letter written by the mother, of these boys, who could not believe that they had been killed.

Image: Azadeh Akhlaghi

Born 1978 in Shiraz, Iran. Lives and works between Tehran and Melbourne, Australia.  A graduate of RMIT University, Melbourne. She was assistant director of Abbas Kiarostami between 2005-2008 before switching to Staged Photography in 2009. Azadeh Akhlaghi exhibited and published widely in major national and international museums and galleries, including her recent exhibitions at  Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago/ The Military Museum—Founders’ Gallery, Calgary, Canada/ Obscura Festival, Malaysia / Somerset House, London / The 5th Daegu Photo Biennale, South Korea / Shanghai Biennale, China. Her films shown in numerous film festivals such as Berkley Museum, Pusan and Oslo. She has won several awards such as The 2016 Sovereign MENA Art Prize, Women and Urban Life Competition, Iranian Artists’ Forum, Tehran, Iran, Winner of the 1st Prize (2010), UN Habitant Competition, University of Westminster, London, UK, Winner of the 3rd Prize (2009).

ANNA FOX

Artist / Professor of Photography, UCA (UK)

Presentation on the uses of image and text in her own work

Anna Fox spoke about the uses of image and text to create the satirical narrative of her projects introducing ideas about the social and/or political environment that the work emerges out of. She showed exerts from both past work and work in progress from, New Age, made in collaboration with artist Chinar Shah. The presentation included: Work Stations that looked at London office life in the late 1980’s; My Mother’s Cupboards and My Father’s Words, made in the late 1990’s, exploring a dysfunctional family relationship and New Age, a work in early progress, that uses images and text to look at the position for women in India today against a backdrop of a rapidly developing economy and the sense of aspiration that goes hand in hand with this.

A slide from Anna Fox’s presentation

Anna Fox is an acclaimed British photographer and Professor of Photography at University for the Creative Arts. Working in colour, Fox first gained attention for Work Stations(1988), a study of office culture in Thatcher’s Britain. She is best known for Zwarte Piet (1993-8), a series of portraits exploring Dutch black-face’ folk traditions. Other projects The Village (1992), a multi-media installation examines the experiences of rural women, and Friendly Fire, records paint-balling in war reportage style. Her publications includeCockroach Diary and My Mother’s Cupboards (2000), Anna Fox Photographs 1983 – 2007, published by Photoworks. Fox’s solo shows include Photographer’s Gallery, London, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago amongst others. Her work has been in international group shows including Centre of the Creative Universe: Liverpool and the Avant Garde at Tate Liverpool and How We Are: Photographing Britain at Tate Britain. She was shortlisted for the 2010 Deutsche Borse Prize. Fox has been awarded grants from UKIERI and PMI2 for collaborative work in India and in 2015 was lead organizer for the Fast Forward conference at Tate Modern. In  2016 she was awarded an International Network grant from the Leverhulme Foundation for the Fast Forward 2 project concerned with raising the profile of women in photography.  www.annafox.co.uk

NANDITA JAISHANKAR

Senior Manager, Programming & Communications, Serendipity Arts Festival and co-founder of PIX (India)

A Survey of Women Photographers in PIX

Nandita Jaishankar spoke about the history of PIX magazine of which she is a co-founder. PIX is a magazine that investigates and engages with photography in South Asia. It is an archive of the contemporary, it is not a survey, it looks at many different parts of a larger whole of photography from the region. She also spoke about the exhibition projects that have come out of the organisation of PIX. The spirit of collaboration, learning and conversation is vital to the PIX project. They have done numerous magazine issues working closely with other organisations such as Photo Circle in Nepal. Many of the published projects are concerned with the politics of identity and they have worked on issues with other partners in Myanmar, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

A slide from Nandita Jaishankar’s presentation

Nandita Jaishankar has worked as an editor, both as a freelancer and at publishing houses in Delhi since 2003. She has also worked on the Lalit Kala Journal (Vol 52), a special issue dedicated to photography, titled Depth of Field: Photography as Art Practice in India (2012) and From Kabul to Kolkata: Of Belonging, Memories and Identity, a catalogue for an exhibition of the same name showcased in Kabul, New Delhi and Kolkata (2015). Her first book of poems, The Memory Bird, was self-published in 2009. Her poems have been featured in an anthology of poetry, Writing Love (Rupa & Co), published in 2010, as well as the Fall issue of Pyrta: A Journal of Poetry and Things, Asia Writes and Ceriph. In 2011, along with Rahaab Allana, she co-founded PIX a publication that looks at contemporary photography and writing around photography in South Asia. She is currently working with the Serendipity Arts Festival, a multi-disciplinary arts event which will be returning for its 3rd edition in December 2018.

FATHIMA NIZARUDDIN

Assistant Professor, AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia (India)

As the course co-ordinater of the MA Convergent Journalism program at AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, Fathima Nizaruddin shared the way in which the program introduces students to photography and the challenges involved in training aspiring journalists in photography. She presented the photo books which the students make under the guidance of her colleague Mr.Sharbendu De and discussed whether the gender which a particular student identifies with, shapes their relationship to the process of production of the photo book in any particular manner.

A slide from Fathima Nizaruddin’s presentation

Dr. Fathima Nizaruddin is an alumnus of AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, and Goldsmiths, University of London. Her film Talking Heads (Muslim Women) has been screened at various international film festivals including Punto de Vista, Spain, Filmmor Women’s Film Festival, Turkey and Bracelona International Women’s Film Festival. She is a recipient of the National Geographic’s All Roads Seed Grant and Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT)’s Film Fellowship. She completed her practice-based PhD in Media Arts and Design from University of Westminster. Nuclear Hallucinations, the film which emerged out of her PhD has been screened widely.

ANITA KHEMKA

Director of Photography at Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts & Communication (India)

Anita Khemka has been looking at the practice of her students after they pass out of the institute. There are some interesting observations, particularly the correlation between their gender and their practice. She intended to dwell on this further and explore the limitations, hurdles, and challenges women face and how these limit or encourage their photographic practice. She looked at how many female students actually continue to make images and if they do, then what kind of photography they pursue. Also, how their position in society/family influences their photographic choices.

A slide from Anita Khemka’s presentation

An English literature graduate, Anita Khemka (b. 1972) began photographing in 1996. Her oeuvre has largely been defined by social documentary work and has been widely exhibited in India and traveled to Barcelona, Amsterdam, Bangkok, Frankfurt, Paris, Geneva, Stockholm, Helsinki, London and Melbourne. Her work dealing with alternative sexuality was made into a German film, Between the Lines – India’s Third Gender in 2005. Following three hijras (eunuchs), Khemka entered the vibrant yet struggling hijra communities, openly discussing many intimate details of her lives. Her project, Sweet Sixteen (2006), portraits of sixteen-year-olds is included in a book, IMAGINING OURSELVES: Global Voices from a New Generation of Women. The series, Self-Portraits has been included in a group exhibition, Watching Me, Watching India at the Fotografie Forum International, Frankfurt (2006), in the Photoquai Biennale at the Musée du Quai Branly, Paris (2007), The Self and The Other – Portraiture in Contemporary Indian Photography for the Palau de la Virrenina and Artium in Spain, Where Three Dreams Cross: 150 years of photography from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh at White Chapel, London (2009).  Her latest work titled ‘Pellet Identity’ done in Kashmir in collaboration with Imran B. Kokiloo, her partner will be exhibited at the FotoFest International in Houston, Texas in 2018. Anita Khemka lives in New Delhi and is represented by Photoink, New Delhi. Website.

LOLA MAC DOUGAL

Artistic Director of JaipurPhoto and Founding director of GoaPhoto

PhD research on the contributions made by some Indian women photographers to the representation of privacy

The presentation offered a short overview of her doctoral research, which looked at  the contributions made by some Indian women photographers to the representation of privacy. Indian women photographers have enjoyed a privileged access in their bid to depict privacy and that access can on occasions be attributed to their gender. It analysed the cases of pioneer women photographers with special attention to the phenomenon of zenana photography as well as three contemporary practitioners: Dayanita Singh, Gauri Gill and Ketaki Sheth.

Lola Mac Dougall has worked as a cultural manager, editor for photography publications, festival director and as a photography curator. In 2011, she launched with Frank Kalero Punctum  (Punctum#3-issuu), a magazine devoted to the promotion of Asian contemporary photography. In 2015 she co-founded GoaPhoto (www.goaphoto.in), an international photography festival that uses Goan private residences as a venue for its exhibitions. She is the artistic director of JaipurPhoto (www.jaipurphoto.in) an international photography festival that makes use of Jaipur’s extraordinary heritage as a venue for outdoor site-specific exhibitions. She has been a portfolio reviewer and jury for Encontros da Imagen (Braga, Portugal), Biel/Bienne Festival of Photography (Switzerland), Format Festival (Derby, UK) Reminders Photography Stronghold (Tokyo) and Cosmos PDF Award (Arles, France). Lola has a doctorate from Barcelona’s Pompeu Fabra Univesity, with a doctoral thesis dealing with Indian women photographers.

AZU NWAGBOGU

Director / Curator, African Artists’ Foundation (Nigeria)

Female Representation in Contemporary African Photography

A snapshot overview of the history of art is almost an epigram devoid of black and in particular female black bodies. Where and when black females are represent it is often one that is exploited and  subjugated. Contemporary art and photography have collaborated to push back and resist this history. Azu Nwagbogu presented work by Viviane Sassen, Tony Gum, Zanele Muholi and many other female partitioners.

A slide from Azu Nwarbogu’s presentation. A work by Tony Gum.

Henry Azubuike Nwagbogu is the Director of the African Artists’ Foundation (AAF), a non-profit organization based in Lagos, Nigeria that he founded in 2007. Nwagbogu is also the Director of LagosPhoto, an annual international festival or art and photography that he founded in 2010. Additionally, Nwagbogu is the Director and Editor-in-Chief of Art Base Africa, an online journal that focuses on contemporary art from Africa and Diaspora. He is a collector and advises other private collectors. Nwagbogu has curated numerous exhibitions internationally, including Dey Your Lane! Lagos Variations at BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts (Brussels, Belgium) in 2016, co-curated with Ruth Simbao Tomorrows/Today at the Cape Town Art Fair (Cape Town, South Africa) in 2016, and Tear My Bra at Rencontres d’Arles (Arles, France), 2016. He is Curator-at-Large for photography at the Zeitz MOCAA Museum in Cape Town. Nwagbogu has contributed texts to several publications, including the Martin Roemers: Metropolis, Berlin, Germany, Hatje Cantz, 2015, Hääbré, The Last Generation by Joana Choumali and Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany, 2015. Nwagbogu is a Juror for Contemporary African Photography Award CAP (Berlin, Germany), and has served as a juror for the World press Photo, Prisma photography award (2015) and Greenpeace Photo Award (2016) and several other art and photography related prizes. Nwagbogu lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria.

ANNI WALLENIUS

Chief Collections Curator, The Finnish Museum of Photography (Finland)

Women photographers during Finnish Civil war in 1918

“2018 marks 100 years since the Finnish civil war, a bloody conflict that casted a long shadow over Finnish society. What is the photographic legacy of a brutal war like? What different positions and roles photographers, both professional and amateur, took in the conflict and its aftermath? The Finnish Museum of Photography is preparing its own memorial exhibition by looking closer at two female photographers’ intake on the 1918 war. The talk is a short introduction to these themes.”

A slide from Anni Wallenius’s presentation

Anni Wallenius works as Chief Collections Curator at the Finnish Museum of Photography. At her work she is responsible for planning and developing museum’s work on its collections, including methods, tools and processes of collections management, collecting initiatives and curating exhibitions. As national specialized museum of photography her institution is interested in collecting and documenting all aspects of different photographic cultures ranging from photographic art to visual social media. The collection includes more than 2 million images (link). She is part of the Nordic Research project, Collecting Social Photography, which studies vernacular social media photography as cultural heritage. She holds MA in Art History and is a member of co-ordination group of Finnish National network for collections management co-operation and present day documentation (TAKO).

G. ARUNIMA

Professor, Centre for Women’s Studies at School of Social Sciences / Jawaharlal Nehru University (India)

How we may make the individual biographies of photographers, and the rapidly changing history of photographic practice

“My paper will be an attempt to think about how to frame the question about “women’s photography”. Here, my interest is to think about how we may make the individual biographies of photographers, and the rapidly changing history of photographic practice, speak to the enormous diversity of images that have been produced by women photographers. Given feminist theoretical caution about reifying ‘subject woman’, the interest here is to think about what one may do with the category of the ‘woman photographer’”.

A slide from G.Arunima’s presentation. Work by Dayanita Singh.

“My research and publications engage both the historical and the contemporary contexts of India, focusing particularly on cultural, visual and material texts, and rethinking the politics of the contemporary. Thematically, research areas of interest can be divided broadly into the study of family and kinship, both historically and theoretically; different aspects of questions of aesthetics and modernities; visual culture and theory; and religion and faith practices. One part of this research focuses on modern Kerala and South Asian histories, and specifically the publications on kinship, aesthetics and more recently on religious identities and faith practices emerges from this body of work. Another broad set of research concerns have been on different areas of contemporary politics – from food cultures, community identities, contemporary histories of violence and resistance, and different aspects of thinking gender based rights. A final set of interests explore contemporary art and visual cultural practices, focusing mainly on painting and photography. Here questions of interest have focused on engaging the complex intersection of the aesthetic with the political, and opening up ways of theorising this relationship”. Link.

CHRISTINE REDMOND

Photographer (Ireland)

An insight in women’s photographic practice in Ireland

The social and political upheavals of recent years has demanded a new visual grammar and it is the diversity of contemporary women photographers response to these evolving conditions that this work represents. Christine Redmond presented some work of female practitioners, who are based in Ireland. 

A slide from Christine Rendmond’s presentation. A work by Jill Quigley.

Christine Redmond is a photographer living and working in Dublin Ireland. She studied Art History in University College Dublin and recently completed an MFA Photography at the University of Ulster, Belfast.  She was Director of the Gallery of Photography Dublin from 1990-1997. Recently she lectured part-time in the University of Ulster on the BA Photography Degree Programme.  She is currently Artist-in-Residence in Sallynoggin College of Further Education in Dublin where she taught History of Photography and Cultural Studies for a period of seventeen years.

The other participants of the workshop who haven't presented but fully contributed to the discussions:

JANAKI ABRAHAM, Dr.

Associate Professor in Sociology in the Sociology Department, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University (India)

Dr. Janaki Abraham, is Associate Professor in Sociology in the Sociology Department, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University. Her research interests include the study of kinship, gender and caste, visual anthropology and gender and space, particularly the study of towns. Her post doctoral research focused on visual cultures of North Kerala.The research was presented at  an exhibition ‘Exploring the Visual Cultures of North Kerala: Photographs, albums and videos in everyday life’.

PEGAN AHANGARANI

Actress, documentary film-maker (Iran)

Pegah Ahangarani is an Iranian actress and Film director. She is the daughter of actress and director  Manijeh Hekmat and movie director Jamshid Ahangarani. She has acted in 11 Iranian feature films since 2001 and made one documentary.

IFTEKHAR AHMAD, Dr.

Director of AJK Mass Communication Research Centre at Jamia Millia Islamia (India)

PATRICIA AZEVEDO, Dr.

Artist / Professor in the Visual Arts, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais / Co-curator of FIF BH Festival (Brazil)

Patricia Azevedo, is a visual artist, graduated in Philosophy from the Université Paris VIII, France, with a Master’s degree in Political Philosophy (“Art and Action in Leon Battista Alberti”) and PhD in Visual Arts (“Games of Distance and Proximity: the construction of dialogic space in performative art” with CAPES Award for research at The Warburg Institute-Archive and LADA-Live Art Development Agency, London, under the co-orientation of Dr. Kiff Bamford, UK) both at the University Federal of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil, where she teaches Photography and Performance in the Visual Arts Course. She develops collaborative projects in different media, investigating relations of language, territory and power, working in the public space of the city or the media itself, a work marked by the relationships that are established between people and the communicative act. She participated in several exhibitions and residences in Brazil and abroad including the most recent such as: 21st Experimental Film Festival of Bogotá, Colombia (2017); No Quiet Place, curator Zoe Sawyer, The Tetley Center for Contemporary Art, UK, (2016); Family Album, curator Daniella Geo, Centro de Arte Hélio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro, BR (2015); 4th Bienalle of Lubumbachi, Curators Toma Muteba Luntumbue and Daniella Geo, Congo (2015); Digging the Future, curators Renata Marquez and Felipe Scovino, Belo Horizonte, BR (2014). She composes the curatorship team of the exhibitions of FIF BH – International Photography Festival of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. She is from Recife, lives and works in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

SUSAN COLLINS

Artist / Professor of Fine Arts / Head of the Slade School of Fine Art at UCL (UK)

Susan Collins works across public, gallery and online spaces employing transmission, networking and time as primary materials. Most of her work is made in response to specific sites and situations.  Key works include the BAFTA nominated Tate in Space, Tate Online (2002); Transporting Skies (2002) which transported sky (and other phenomena) live between Newlyn Art Gallery, Penzance in Cornwall and Site Gallery Sheffield in Yorkshire; Fenlandia (2004) and Glenlandia (2005) – live year long pixel by pixel internet transmissions from remote landscapes; Seascape (2009) a solo show for the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea and short films including Love Brid (2009) for Animate Projects’ ‘Coastcards’ and Wild Life (2016) for Tintype Gallery’s ‘Essex Road III’. Public commissions include Underglow (2005-6), a network of illuminated drains for the Corporation of London and Brighter Later (2013), a site specific light installation for the Radcliffe Observatory, Oxford driven by live weather data. Recent works include Wembury & Woolacombe (2015), commissioned by the RAMM, Exeter in association with the National Trust, and LAND (2017), a live transmission from Jerusalem looking across the West Bank towards the Jordanian mountains. Susan Collins is Slade Professor and Director of the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL where she established the Slade Centre for Electronic Media in Fine Art (SCEMFA) in 1995. http://www.susan-collins.net

SABEENA GADIHOKE, Dr.

Professor, Video and Television Production at the AJK Mass Communication Research Centre at Jamia Millia Islamia (India)

Sabeena Gadihoke is Professor, Video and Television Production at the AJK Mass Communication Research Centre at Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi. She is also a photo historian and has curated several shows on Indian photography the most recent of which is Lightworks: A Jitendra Arya Retrospective that opened at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai this month. She was a Fulbright Fellow at Syracuse University during 1995-6 and has received grants from India Foundation for the Arts, the Charles Wallace Trust and the Majlis Foundation for her research on photography. Her book on India’s first woman photo-journalist, Camera Chronicles of Homai Vyarawalla (Mapin/ Parzor Foundation) was published in 2006. Gadihoke has several years of experience as a documentary filmmaker and cameraperson. Her film Three Women and a Camera won awards at the Film South Asia at Kathmandu (1999) and at the Mumbai International Film Festival (2000). Her current research interests focus on the intersection of the moving and still image.

SHOHINI GHOSH

Sajjad Zaheer Professor at the AJK Mass Communication Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia (India)

Shohini Ghosh is Sajjad Zaheer Professor at the AJK Mass Communication Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. She is the director of Tales of the Nightfairies (2002) a documentary about the Sex Workers Rights movement in Calcutta and the author Fire: A Queer Classic (2010) published by Arsenal Pulp Press, Vancouver /Orient Publishing (2011), New Delhi. Ghosh has been Visiting Professor in a number of universities within and outside India and has had a long association with CREA’s Sexuality, Gender and Rights Program. Ghosh writes on contemporary media, speech and censorship, popular cinema, visual cultures, documentary and issues of gender and sexuality. Ghosh has been active in the on-going campaign to decriminalize homosexuality. She is currently working on a book titled Violence and the Spectral Muslim: Action, Affect and Bombay Cinema at the Turn of the 21th Century.

MARIA KAPAJEVA

Artist / Lecturer / Network Facilitator for Fast Forward project (UK / Estonia)

Maria Kapajeva is Network Facilitator for the project ‘Fast Forward: Women in Photography’ and co-Editor of its online platform. She is a Fellow of HEA, teaches at UCA (Farnham). Maria Kapajeva is an Estonian artist who is based in London Her multicultural background informs her practice of mining a diverse spectrum of cultural identity and gender issues within historical and contemporary contexts. She works with stories and histories that grow out of the collection of vernacular photography that she finds in archives, old family albums, on the internet or in flea markets. Kapajeva appropriates and deconstructs these images while looking for stories that have been forgotten or are about to disappear. Working with video, installation and object-based art she embeds found objects and images into unique pieces using various printing and stitching techniques. In 2018 she won the Runner-Up Award at FOKUS Video Art Festival, Denmark and in 2016 she got a Gasworks & Triangle Network Fellowship to work at Kooshk Residency in Tehran. Her work was internationally exhibited including the most recent: RIBOCA Biennial (Latvia, 2018), Kaunas Photography Gallery (Lithuania, 2018), Narva Art Residency (Estonia, 2017), WOAK Gallery (Poland, 2017), Detroit Oloman Gallery (USA, 2017). Her video works participated at Luminocity Festival (Canada, 2018), NexT Film Festival (Romania, 2017) and Berlin Feminist Film Week (2016). Maria’s first artist book ‘You can call him another man’ was shortlisted for Aperture Photobook Award in 2018. www.mariakapajeva.com

SABINA KIDWAI, Dr.

Associate Professor, Film Production at the AJK Mass Communication Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia (India)

Dr. Sabina Kidwai has been teaching Film Production with a specialisation in editing for over two decades.  She has worked as a researcher, scriptwriter and editor for a large number of independent documentaries. She has directed and edited a documentary on the issues of identity “Shadows of Freedom” for the Public Service Broadcasting Trust. The film was screened at various festivals and was the Inaugural film for the PSBT festival Open Frame 2004. She is the co director for a film  ”Diminishing Resources” made under the UK Environment Film Fellowship 2006. The documentary has been widely circulated and was telecast on Discovery Channel, and National Geographic.  Sabina has done considerable research work. She has co-authored two publications, “Illusion of Power” and “Crossing the sacred Line”,  on the subject of Women and political Participation. She has done a study on the  “Images of Muslim women” for WISCOMP (Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace), produced under the “Scholar for Peace “ Fellowship. She has completed her Ph.D in 2015 on the issue of Identity and the Media.

KAREN KNORR

Artist / Professor of Photography at UCA (UK/USA)

Karen Knorr  (USA / UK) was born in Germany and grew up in San Juan Puerto Rico in the 1960’s. She currently lives in London.  She is Professor of Photography at the University for the Creative Arts since 2010. Karen Knorr’s photography explores cultural heritage and its ideological underpinings. Questions concerning post colonialism and its relationship to aesthetics have permeated her photographic work since the 1980’s.  Karen Knorr won the V International Photography Pilar Citoler Prize in 2010. She has been nominated for the Deutsche Börse in 2011 and 2012 and Prix Pictet in 2012. She exhibited her work Belgravia andGentlemen  at Tate Britain in 2014- 2015 .She was recently awarded a Daiwa Foundation Grant to continue projects in Japan.  Knorr exhibits her work globally  and is included in collections including :Museum of London, Tate, Pompidou, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art , Folkwang Museum, Essen, Kyoto Museum of Modern  Art. She is currently represented by Tasveer Art(Bangalore) Augusta Edwards(U.K.) Fille du Calvaire (France) Danziger Gallery(New York) Slowtrack (Madrid)  karenknorr.com

DIANA LEE

Co-owner of Dillon+Lee Gallery (USA)

Diana Seo Hyung Lee is a New York City based writer, translator, and partner of Dillon+Lee. Lee joined Dillon Gallery in 2012 and was instrumental in the new direction of the gallery and alongside Valerie Dillon has operated the international expansion and presence through art fairs and curated exhibitions. She became partner in the fall of 2016. Lee’s writing and translations have appeared in Flash Art, The Brooklyn Rail, ArtSlant, Degree Critical Blog, ArtAsiaPacific, and The Forgetory, an online publication she helped start, where she currently serves as a contributing editor. She received her MFA in Art Criticism and Writing from The School of Visual Arts in 2012 and BFA in Fine Art with a concentration in Sculpture and Printmaking from Cornell University in 2008.

ANUGYAN NAG

Assistant Professor of Film, Media and Cultural Studies at AJK Mass Communication Research Center, Jamia Millia Islamia (India)

Anugyan Nag is an Assistant Professor of Film, Media and Cultural Studies at AJK Mass Communication Research Center, Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi. Recipient of the   Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research fellowship at Tisch School of the Arts, Cinema Studies, New York University, New York. He has an M.Phil in Cinema Studies 2012, dissertation title: The Contemporary Bengali Film Industry: From Tollygunge to Tollywood. He has previously done a Masters degree in Film Production and Film History from Salford University, U.K. He has served as a jury to Documentary and Short film festival, like “Jeevika”-Livelihood International Film Festival (Conducted by Centre for Civil Societies, India, 2005 and 2010) and “Twilight Short Film Festival” in 2010, New Delhi. He has participated in various National and International Conferences on Media and Cinema. He is the recipient of 2004 Japan-South Asia Youth Forum Scholarship granted by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan and was selected as the Collegium Member at the 2015 La Giornate Cinema Del Muto Film Festival, Pordenone, Italy. His films have been nominated, screened and awarded at National and International Film Festivals. “Above Water” 2007 won the Special Jury Award at Kolkata International Short Film Festival 2008 held at Nandan.“Taking Flight” 2007 was nominated in the best student film category at the Poland International Film festival 2008, and has also won the 2nd prize at 3rd Global Film festival held at Noida. He has published academic articles on Indian cinema in both national and international journals. His forthcoming and first book on Contemporary Bengali Film Industry is under publication.

SHRUTI NAGPAL

PhD Candidate, AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia (India)

Shruti Nagpal  is a Practice Based PhD Scholar with AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia and she is currently working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, VIPS, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi. Nagpal has been involved in academia and research since 2007 and her work primarily focuses on technology, surveillance, interactive media content and social media practices. In 2009, Nagpal co-directed a short film on the changing landscape of Delhi commissioned by Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT), India. She has conducted interactive workshops on documentary practices and story-telling techniques at various schools and colleges in Delhi. Recently, she presented and published her work on Surveillance in Delhi schools at Centre for the Studies of Developing Societies, New Delhi.

GEETA PATEL

The Director of UVA in India and an Associate Professor at the University of Virginia (India / USA)

Geeta Patel is the Director of UVA in India and an Associate Professor at the University of Virginia, with three degrees in science and a doctorate from Columbia University, NY in inter-disciplinary South Asian Studies focusing on Sanskrit and Urdu. She has published widely in both academic and popular venues on the collusive conundrums posed by bringing finance, science, sexuality and visual aesthetics together, and translated lyric and prose from Sanskrit, Urdu, Hindi and Braj. Her first monograph, Lyrical Movements, Historical Hauntings: On Gender, Colonialism and Desire in Miraji’s Urdu Poetry, reimagines the landscape of Urdu modernism. Dr Patel’s second book, Risky Bodies & Techno-Intimacy uses techno-intimacy as the locus for interrogating capital, science, media and desire. She is the co-editor of three  special issues that engage several of her areas of expertise. “In Queery/In Theory/ In Deed” and “Area Impossible,” for GLQ and “Trust and Islamic Capital” for Society and Business Review. Dr. Patel is completing three other manuscripts, one on the poetics of finance (historical pensions, insurance, credit, debt) and farm finance; one on Ismat Chughtai; and one on fantasies embedded in visual advertising called “Billboard Fantasies.”

SHREYASI PATHAK

MFA Student of Photography Design, National Institute of Design (India)

Shreyasi Pathak was born in Pune, India. Having grown up in several places, all around India, her keen interest of collecting things from the places she has been to influences her practice. She works with found objects, text and films. Her interest lies in the issues of environment and ecology, gender and representation and alternative architectural practices. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Photography at National Institute of Design, Gandhinagar.

SONALI SHARMA

PhD Candidate, A.J.K. Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia (India)

Sonali Sharma is currently pursuing her Practice-based Ph.D. from A.J. Kidwai Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. She has been associated with the Centre from 2010 onwards as Assistant Professor (Cinematography & Editing). She has presented at several conferences. Her recent conference presentation includes a paper on “Indian Independent Documentary Films and Interactivity in the Digital Age” on the panel ‘Interactive Documentary’s Immersive Potential’ in the Visible Evidence XXII Conference. As a media practitioner, she has worked with Zee Sports and NDTV Profit as a member of the core production team. Some of her work as a cinematographer-editor includes audio-visual documentation for NGO Save the Children, editing of India & Indian culture-centric features for FOXTEL, Australia during the Commonwealth Games 2010; and co-direction of a short film On the Verge (a film on the changing landscape of Delhi) for Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT), India.

ASHISH VERMA

Photographer / Head of the Delhi branch, The One Goa School (India)

Ashish Verma is currently Head of the Delhi branch of The One School Goa. He completed PG in Photography Design at NID (Ahmedabad) and MFA at UCA (Farnham, UK). His work has been exhibited at various exhibitions in India and abroad. Previously he was teaching at The Kiln Photo Workshop and he was an Artist in Residence at UCA (Farnham, UK) between 2012-2013. He joined The One School Goa as Senior Lecturer in Photography in 2014 and then in 2017 moved to New Delhi to lead its branch. www.ashishverma.co