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  Life   More Features  22 May 2017  Crossing borders

Crossing borders

Published : May 22, 2017, 6:41 am IST
Updated : May 22, 2017, 1:38 pm IST

Photography exhibition by 11 dynamic women explores the idea of borders among many other themes from around the world.

Photograph by Florencia Trincheri (Argentina)
 Photograph by Florencia Trincheri (Argentina)

“When you check the number of students who enroll for photography, the ratio of female students is high. But when it comes to professional photographers, the number of female photographers drop drastically. Women get caught up in their personal lives too much and somewhere this dream is lost. Even those women who are in the profession, at times, lack the confidence to display their works,” says Arantza Aramburu-Hamel, co-director of the International Women Photographers Award (IWPA).

Marcela Barrios-Hernandez (Colombia)Marcela Barrios-Hernandez (Colombia)

IWPA received 784 applications from 84 countries around the world. 11 of these photographers were chosen this year. A jury of seven experts in the photography world, a gallerist from Japan and a photo editor from Dubai chose the finalists.

Soheila Sanamno (Iran)Soheila Sanamno (Iran)

“It is a fact that unfortunately women photographers are underrepresented in the world of photography, some studies announced only 20 per cent of women photographers are represented or can achieve a professional and artistic career. Recently, I heard it is even less. IWPA was created in 2001 to highlight women photographers at that time already. 15 years, later, thanks to the international IWPA Award and its travelling show, we offer an international traveling show that gives to the laureate and the finalists a long exposure in many different key cities worldwide. After India, the show goes to Egypt, KSA, Pakistan and France until December 2017. So these women have a better chance to gain a diverse audience, global recognition and boost their careers creatively and professionally,” says Laure Parise, organiser and producer of IWPA.

Sumy Sadurni (Spain)Sumy Sadurni (Spain)

The 2017 theme for IWPA was ‘borders’. “But participants also had an option to keep it free from following this theme. Because sometimes extraordinary works come along and we don’t want to stop that,” says Arantza.

There is a lot of diversity in the works, as most of the photographers, in this exhibition, reveal crucial situations around in the world. “Especially through the photo-journalism series. You learn from the Afro-Mexican population series by Cecil Smetana-Baudier, a French-Danish photographer; or from the situation of raped women in Iran thanks to Soheila Sanamno; as well as from South Sudanese or Somali women refugees in Uganda, respectively by Samy Sadurni and Anne Ackerman but also discover beautiful stage photographs from Farah Salem or Haruhi Fujii, from Japan, who have worked on the IWPA theme 2017 ‘borders’,” says Laure.

Haruhi Fujii (Japan)Haruhi Fujii (Japan)

“We believe that women photographers like the idea of being part of a community. We did a survey and asked all the participants what they think about the award, and a majority were extremely pleased. The more they will be seen by a large audience the more people will realise that women photographers are a very strong component of the photography world,” Laure concludes.

Tags: international women photographers award, photography