The first Firecracker event took place yesterday night at the Apple Store on Regent Street. Fiona Rogers, founder of this new online platform that promotes European women photographers, brought with her Tessa Bunney, Laura Hynd and Léoni Hampton to show their work and talk about it.
Tessa Bunney showed her series ‘Home Work’, a view on domestic labour in and around Hanoi. ‘The Letting Go’ of Scottish photographer Laura Hynd, it’s a deeply personal series of photographs, portraits and self-portraits that testify the honest and intimate nature of the relationship between her and her subjects. Léoni Hampton discussed ‘In the Shadow of Things’, a book project about her family who gathered to clean up the house of Léoni’s mother, who is affected by obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Following the showcase, Fiona Rogers opened the debate to the public. She said although the majority of photography students in UK universities are women – statistics say two to one –, yet there are very few who become eventually professional photographers.
It’s curious to know that, by the turn of the 20th century, women outnumbered men in the field.
In those years photography was considered a safe job for women, because it allowed them to do practice at their home studios. The trend slowly went down by the second decade of the century.
Probably the reason for this unbalance is beyond the photography field.
But is it really a matter of gender? Does really adding the label ‘woman’ to a picture help in some way that picture to gain more attention? My favourite photographer is Diane Arbus. Yes, I’ve said my favourite photographer, not woman photographer.