MAY 4, 2023. GRACE EBERT
Graciela Iturbide, Our Lady of the Iguanas, Juchitán de Zaragoza, Oaxaca, Mexico, 1979. Image © Graciela Iturbide. All images courtesy of Thames & Hudson
The hefty book is a corrective encyclopedia highlighting the women who have had outsized impacts on photography.
Photography is often touted as one of the most accessible and democratic mediums, making it a prime choice for those with little institutional support or access to funding. A new book edited by Luce Lebart and Marie Robert and published by Thames & Hudson explores the work of more than 300 women, many of whom were underrecognized during their lifetimes, and all of whose practices centered around the camera.
Recently translated from French by Ruth Taylor and Bethany Wright, the hefty A World History of Women Photographers is a corrective encyclopedia highlighting those with outsized impacts on the medium. The 504-page book pairs hundreds of images with text by an international roster of 160 women writers, granting similar space to each photographer and unearthing a chronically undervalued group. “With this collection of artists, it is not so much a matter of producing a counter-narrative or of deconstructing histories that already exist but of completing them. We have no desire to burn idols or topple statues, only to erect new ones, and to create a narrative that is richer and more fair,” the editors write in the introduction. “In other words, there is an urgent need to write another history, and to write it differently.”
Pamela Singh, Tantric Self-Portrait in Jaipur #18, c. 2000–2001. Image © Pamela Singh, courtesy of the artist and sepiaEYE, New York
Included in the chronologically organized text that spans from 1850 to today are luminaries like Carrie Mae Weems and Zanelle Muholi (previously), in addition to those who have only recently come into public view. […]
Sandra Eleta, Putulungo and Alma, Portobelo couple, 1977. Image © Sandra Eleta. Courtesy Galerie Rouge, Paris
Rita Ostrovska, My husband Alik with our son Sasha, Bila Tserkva, Ukraine, 1988. Image © Rita Ostrovska
More: ‘A World History of Women Photographers’ Unearths Hundreds of Images that Enrich the Canon — Colossal