This two-day conference (6 – 7 November 2015), explores the complex and dynamic evolution of the history of women in photography, from early commercial practices, to the impact of World War II on women and their work, to reframing the role of the archive. Considering both national and international discussions about women in the history of photography, this event presents some of the latest research and debates in the field.

Fast Forward: Women in Photography – 13: Introduction

Welcome and introduction to Day 2, Session Three: Shifting Perspectives: Work and the Photographic Industry with Sandra Sykorova and Anna Fox.

Fast Forward: Women in Photography – 14: Andrea Nelson

Andrea Nelson: The New Woman Behind the Camera

With a focus on the German-born photographer, Ilse Bing (1899-1998), this presentation explores what was at stake for women who wanted to become professional photographers during the interwar years, a time when female identity was often defined through the complex and often contradictory lens of the ‘New Woman’.

Fast Forward: Women in Photography – 15: Merja Salo

Merja Salo: Privilege of Gender in Fashion Photography

Female photographers played a prominent role in early Finnish fashion photography. Gender provided advantages for the careers of Emmi Heldt-Fock in the 1920s, and Märtha Söderholm and Claire Aho in the 1950s. They were well-respected professionals in the commercial sphere, especially in ladies´ underwear photography, until men entered the business in the 1960s.

Fast Forward: Women in Photography – 16: Pete James

Pete James: Revisiting Emma Barton: creating futures from the past 

This paper describes a live project based around an archive of previously unseen material relating to the acclaimed but largely forgotten Birmingham Pictorialist, Emma Barton. Working with the contemporary commercial photographer Marta Kochanek, the project seeks to inform, inspire, create and promote opportunities for women photographers in the photographic industry.

Fast Forward: Women in Photography – 17: Karen Shepherdson

Karen Shepherdson: Discovering Presence: The Innovative Practices of Women Photographers at the Seaside

This paper offers an exposition of the British female seaside photographer from an itinerant image-maker to a resident employee (within an organised structure) and then to independent photographic artist. The paper’s subject illustrates how women at the seaside have harnessed photographic practices as not only modes of creative expression but also of physical liberation and economic self-sufficiency.

Fast Forward: Women in Photography – 18: Panel discussion

Panel discussion and Q&A chaired by Anna Fox for Session three: Shifting Perspectives: Work and the Photographic Industry

Fast Forward: Women in Photography – 19: Introduction

Introduction to Session Four: Politics of Coming Closer to the Truth by Joy Gregory

Fast Forward: Women in Photography – 20: Victoria Garnons-Williams

Victoria Garnons-Williams: The Last Laugh: Aesthetic Methods of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Women Photographers

In the process of challenging social and political discourses, Australian Indigenous women photographers invent and employ alternative aesthetics in their work, often reflecting an Aboriginal perspective based on a circular, non-linear sense of time and narrative. Key artists and works are presented to illustrate how these methods inform a theoretical continuum of practice.

Fast Forward: Women in Photography – 21: Ailbhe Greaney

Ailbhe Greaney: States of Colour: Irish and Vietnamese Women after Albert Kahn’s Archives of the Planet

On the eve of the Irish 1916 Easter Rising’s 100-year anniversary – and to mark 40 years since the end of the Vietnam War in April 1975 – this presentation explores the Albert Kahn Archive’s representation of Irish and Vietnamese women between states, shrouded in the iconography of colour and dress.

Fast Forward: Women in Photography – 22: Christine Eyene

Christine Eyene: An image of our own: Curating African and Diaspora Women’s Visual Narratives

This paper proposes to discuss politics of self-representation in the work of African and Diaspora women photographers through the prism of the body as a marker of gendered and cultural identities expressed within sites of contention. The presentation will also touch on some of the challenges facing black female curatorial practice and correlated issues around politics of space.

Fast Forward: Women in Photography – 23: Panel discussion

Panel discussion and Q&A chaired by Joy Gregory for Session Four: Politics of Coming Closer to the Truth

Fast Forward: Women in Photography – 24: Introduction

Introduction to Session Five: Networks and Working Together by Christiane Monarchi

Christiane Monarchi introduces the final session of this 2 day conference.

Fast Forward: Women in Photography – 25: Qiana Mestrich

Qiana Mestrich: I’ve Come To Take You Home: Photography and Black, Female Performance

From Aunt Jemima to well-coiffed chanteuses on 1970s R&B/Soul vinyl album covers, the black, female image has historically been controlled by higher powers. A new generation of women artists are using photography to reclaim ownership and visualise multiple black, female identities that neutralise the dominant, singular narrative of the past.

Fast Forward: Women in Photography – 26: Sandra Plummer

Sandra Plummer Derry: Camerawork: Community, Conflict and Challenging Consensus

This paper investigates the archive of Derry Camerawork – a community photography project that ran from 1982 to 1992 in Derry~Londonderry. The collective’s images of everyday life will be considered as a challenge to the dominant representations of ‘the Troubles’ produced by visiting (predominantly male and middle class) photojournalists.

Fast Forward: Women in Photography – 27: Gill Park

Gill Park: A rather dispiriting visit? Deciphering an ‘incomplete’ feminist photography project

What might we learn from considering the Pavilion Women’s Photography Centre as an ‘incomplete’ project rather than as a defunct one? Challenging the ‘memory lapse’ of contemporary art, this paper thinks the convergence of feminism and photography as a critical intervention that continues to offer possibilities for the structural transformation of art and its institutions.

Fast Forward: Women in Photography – 28: Panel discussion

Panel Discussion and Q&A chaired by Christiane Monarchi for Session Five: Networks and Working Together

Fast Forward: Women in Photography – 29: Closing

Conference closing remarks by artist and Professor of Photography at University for the Creative Arts, Karen Knorr