08 March 2020
08 March 2020 - Written by PhMuseum
On the occasion of International Women's Day 2020, we asked Firecracker's founder Fiona Rogers to highlight 10 female artists we should follow this year.
Established in 2011, fire-cracker.org is an online platform dedicated to supporting female photographers worldwide by showcasing their work and awarding an annual grant to enable an artist to fund her project. Being the mind behind Firecracker, we invited Fiona Rogers to select 10 women photographers whose work is making an impact and underline why we should follow and support them.
Already well known for her Polaroid work, Adam has recently completed the most astonishing project about Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific. Originally seeking out a story about perceived ‘utopias’, Adam would instead encounter first hand the scars of the 2004 sexual abuse scandal which continues to dominates the community.
As the (much needed) discussions continue about diversity & authorship in photography, no doubt excellent photographers such as Endia Beal, an American practitioner, curator and academic making work about what it means to be black and challenging minority stereotypes in a compelling and intelligent way, will continue to attract much-deserved attention for both her work and its statement. Her first photography book entitled "Performance Review" is soon to be published.
Blas’s astonishing photographs of black teenagers she met at a girls empowerment group serve to not only allow her collaborators to reclaim the black body and their identities but educate the viewer about what it means to be a black woman. I’m a big fan of this ongoing work and hope to see more of it this year.
I was excited to discover the work of Boon Cowler through her takeover of Photoworks and in a Der Grief guest curation. Exploring digital and analogue techniques, this intriguing artist produces process-driven collages that create stunning abstract and other-worldly scenes.
Fulford’s work shone as the finalist in the 2018 Firecracker Grant submissions with her highly personal depiction of being queer in the religious Deep South. She’s increasingly being called upon by major media & institutions for portraits and commissions. This photographer is destined for greatness.
Since being awarded the RPS postgraduate bursary in 2019, Cocoa’s work has been an increasing presence in the discussions around representation in photography. Her work ‘Belle’, which saw the artist collaborate with women from her native Alabama to explore thematics around gender politics shame and identity.
Markosian’s work goes from strength to strength and she’s really grown from the documentary photographer I first knew. Her new work Santa Barbara, which mixes fact and fiction about her own unconventional upbringing, and pursuing the American dream, culminates in a kind of mixed media ‘soap opera’. Look out for her book with Aperture and exhibitions at SFMoma and Rencontres d’Arles this year.
I was first introduced to Mazibuko’s work via the development project Of Soul And Joy, and have enjoyed seeing this young woman’s work expand over the years. She’s enjoyed several exhibitions over the last few years, and won the Tierney Fellowship in 2017. Hoping to see more of this Johannesburg based photographer this year.
Sabine’s beautifully moving collaboration with her two younger brothers hit at a time where the #metoo movement was calling into question the notion of modern masculinity. She scooped the Firecracker Grant last year and was later included in a fantastic group exhibition about black male identities at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, curated by the powerful duo behind ‘MFON: women of the African diaspora’, Laylah Barrayn and Adama Delphine Fawundu.
Schneidermann’s exquisite project about youth communities in the South Welsh Valley’s is made in collaboration with creative director and resident Welsh-woman Charlotte James. The work is both beautiful and thought-provoking, turning the conventional sitter relationship on its head. After a noteworthy exhibition at the Martin Parr Foundation, we should expect more unusual fashion hybrids from this brilliant young artist.
Fiona Rogers is the Director of Photography and Operations at Webber Represents. Prior to that she was Chief Operating Officer of Magnum Photos. She recently authored a book published by Thames & Hudson; Firecrackers: Female Photographers Now, celebrating contemporary women practitioners. She has participated as a judge for several notable competitions, including, the Mack First Book Award and the Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography. She is on the Board of the Martin Parr Foundation in Bristol and an advisor to the Royal Photographic Society.
Firecracker was established in 2011 by Fiona Rogers to promote women working in photography, through a variety of online features, networking opportunities and public events. In 2012, Firecracker launched its first Photographic Grant, awarded to a female photographer born or residing in Europe to assist with a documentary project.
This article is part of the work PHmuseum started two years ago to support female and non-binary photographers and reignite the debate on gender equality in our industry. Our dedicated initiatives include an annual Grant and several collaborations such as our online exhibition On Womanhood.