British photographic history

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cfp: Fast Forward: How do women work / proposals by 1 March 2019

Following two inspiring international conferences about the role of Women Photographers, held at Tate Modern in April 2015 and National Gallery of Art in Lithuania in 2017, we are hosting the third conference at Tate Modern, in autumn 2019. Through a mix of call for papers and invited speakers, this public event aims to bring together key voices from across the globe to explore and identify critical themes and issues pertinent to how women work photographically in the 20th and 21st century and recognising their contributions to the medium’s history. We will explore the wide range of working practices both historical and contemporary, addressing key themes in current photography research and celebrating important work produced.

Please find the call for papers below. The themes for the conference are set out in the call for papers. We encourage submissions that embrace the following principles: an inclusive definition of gender, an interest in diverse practices, global perspectives and alternative approaches to education.

This event is organised in partnership with University for the Creative Arts (UCA) and London College of Communication (LCC) at University of the Arts London Photography (UAL), with support from The Leverhulme Trust International Network Grant. 

This conference seeks to open a discussion on the below topics, inviting new research which responds to contemporary issues around photographic practices, collecting and gender disparity. In what ways can the framing of photographic practice be reimagined?

Theme 1: Sharing the Self and Others

The act of photography is often a performative one – either as an actual performance before the camera or as a performative act of practice. The emergence of picture-based social media has also produced a plethora of diaristic commentaries on women’s lives, from intimate family picture blogs and feeds (many of which are financially profitable) to commentaries on fashion, food and health. – What is the relationship between performance and photography today? – How have women worked with performativity and photography? – How is photography used to share the personal? – What are the ethics involved in professionals working with this type of material, historic and contemporary?

Theme 2: In and Out of the Museum

Women’s work has been collected by museums far less than the work of men yet there is little recorded research to investigate why and how this has happened. Women’s work has also been largely hidden from view, buried in collections that often don’t get shown or discussed. – Is the act of collecting either as an institution or as an individual a performative, self-referential act? – How do museums acquire and collect photography, while considering gender parity? – How do photography collections respond and develop in dialogue with audiences? – How could collection strategies be reimagined?

Theme 3: Connected Practices

This theme aims to address ideas around the work of collectives, skill sharing, processes, alienation, working with specific networks, solidarity, artists collaborating with curators and with other artists and photographers. – How have ways of working together enabled new forms of photographic practice? – What kinds of collaboration or connected practices have enhanced visibility and how? – What opportunities does the medium of photobooks offer practitioners? – How are social media and new technologies creating new spaces for activism around the globe?

Theme 4: Global Stories

The history of photography and even representations of contemporary photography told today often focus on particular regions to the exclusion of others, overlooking international connections and stories. – In what way has the increased visibility of photography from different localities impacted established photographic histories and the [western?] Canon?’ – What are the contemporary responses to investigating archives? – How are photographers responding to notions of displacement and diaspora?

Theme 5: How do Women Work?

This section considers how women photographers have negotiated and navigated their way to photographic opportunities by inviting papers which explore the position of women, past, present and future working in the industry, art and photography practice. – What role does gender play in photographic practice? – How have women photographers navigated spaces of conflict and war? – How is the organisation of photography’s practice changing in response to contemporary developments in education, technologies and the industry? – What roles do developing technologies and social media play in the development of women’s photographic careers?

Submission of papers as follows:

1st March 2019 – Deadline for submission of 500 word abstract and CV or link to a webpage. The abstract must be submitted as a single PDF file, please DO NOT include any images.

16th May 2019 – Successful applicants will be notified after this date.

Please email submissions to:

See more here:

Tate Modern, London, UK
30 November – 1 December 2019

Join this conference to discuss how framing of photographic practice can be reimagined

For any enquiries please email:

The open call can be also found on Tate Modern website.

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