May 2 - June 23
opening May 2, 6 - 8pm
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I have been in Berlin setting up the photocopy club. Heading back to
A LITTLE, NOT TOO LATE
The highly acclaimed institution that is the British Journal of Photography decided to opt for a ‘Women Only’ issue this April. Photography is a boy’s club and this seemed like a logical step towards addressing that problem. BJP have decided to tackle their own gender imbalance with an issue dedicated solely to the minority.
The book is filled with liberating projects detailing what it’s like to be a women in today’s world. I won’t pretend that I can relate to even half of these. It’s filled with inspirational stories of courageous females who are undeterred by the probability that they will never be seen as important as their male counterparts. This is capital-A Artworld after all and BJP is a part of it.
And I’m flicking, and scanning, and reading, and just generally trying to absorb what they’re trying to achieve. I stumble across a great line in it by Brett Rogers, director of The Photographers’ Gallery in London. "There is a tendency for women to belittle their achievements, but as an institution, it’s our job to seek them out".
This is an important moment in my reading. The magazine doesn’t dwell on Rogers long, in fact he’s only a small part of one article, but this moment carries a lot more weight than some of the more predictable elements that follow.
Perhaps BJP are hamstrung by their sponsors or afraid to alienate the male side of their audience but I’m left underwhelmed. This could have busted an important issue wide open and knocked us all on our backs gasping for air. But it doesn’t. It’s idle threats. The opening address by Deputy Editor Diane Smyth is aspirational and ambitious but then it all goes a bit limp.
There is a lengthy feature on Cass Bird and Susan Meiselas gets an in-depth profile and nothing strikes me as all that groundbreaking. I can’t help but dwell on that Rogers quote. What needs to be spoken after it is on the tip of our collective tongue. "It’s our job to seek them out … but we don’t".
I’ll never claim to know even half enough about feminism but surely, there could have been smarter ways to tackle gender imbalance without having to be so on-the-nose about it. If the problem is integration then open-label segregation isn’t the way forward. I would have liked to have seen this magazine publish this without the ‘Women Only’ title and see how it was received. Tip the scale the other way until someone notices and adopt a practice that better reflects the ideals set out by Smyth in the opening. Now that’s change. This is just reparations.
This magazine doesn’t work as a solution in the same way a once-off women-only meeting in parliament isn’t the cure to a lack of women in high ranking government positions. This magazine is treating the symptom not the disease. But it’s a start.
S U N ( D A E ) D A Y - S U B M I S S I O N S
Due to the increasing amount of submissions flooding our inbox we have decided to create a weekend segment to shine a light on the incredible work we receive daily, but for lack of manpower leave untouched.
We’ll start it off simple, posting single images from two or more photographers per week and let it find shape as it keeps on keeping on.
Starting this Sunday expect an all out inbox yard-sale and a steady flow of photo goods every Sunday from there on out.
Keep those submissions coming.
OPEN SUBMISSION - LAST CALL
Deadline for Exhibition Entries: Monday 14thApril 2014.
You can submit via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of my work is featured in the upcoming Meanwhile Press exhibition and zine. It’s shaping up to be a rad one. If you’re up north be sure to head down.