A current exhibition in Paris highlights the exceptional street photography of 30 women photographers from 20 countries. The show was organized and curated by Gulnara Samoilova and Ximena Echague through their vibrant online community, Women Street Photographers.
Founded in 2017 by Samoilova (who is an award-winning photographer herself), Women Street Photographers is an online and in-person community providing support and amplifying the work of women artists from all races, ethnicities, creeds, generations, abilities, and sexual and gender identities around the world today.
Designed to expand commonly held notions of street photography by adopting an inclusive, expansive, non-traditional approach, Women Street Photographers provides platforms to showcase the work of amateur and professional photographers alike, including an Instagram feed, @WomenStreetPhotographers, website, traveling exhibitions, artist residency, inspirational film series, and photography book, Women Street Photographers (Prestel, 2021).
With 40 years combined experience as a documentary and street photographer, artist, darkroom printer, photojournalist, and photo editor for the Associated Press, Samoilova uses her experience and expertise to create visibility for women street photographers and empower them to follow their passion. (Gulnara Samoilova is also a key member of this year’s international jury for LensCulture’s Street Photography Awards 2021). In 2020, documentary and street photographer Ximena Echague (@ximena_echague) joined Women Street Photographers as ambassador, curator, jury and mentor.
LensCulture is pleased to highlight seven of the 30 featured photographers here.
“The series, part of two different projects, was made in two countries, in Harar — Ethiopia and in Ghana. Women take the center stage in this work as they are often my main subject together with colors that add a special feeling to the story that I always try to find and tell.” — Andrea Torrei is an Italian photographer based in Rome. Her work spans from portraiture to street and documentary photography focusing mainly on personal projects with special attention to social issues.
“I moved to Valparaíso on a whim. I hadn’t planned on staying long, but whenever I thought I might be ready to leave, the city called to me. Wandering its streets I can see why the Chilean seaport became a muse and a myth. At times Valparaíso seems to be made of a succession of endearing characters, picturesque scenes and improbable collages begging to be photographed. Slowly but decidedly, I look for something else: a moment when my cadence and the rhythm of the city will meet, a sense of respite, a mysterious harmony.” — After obtaining her master’s degree in art history, Eléonore Simon moved to New York and fell in love with street photography. There, she worked as a studio manager and served as a teaching assistant at the International Center of Photography. Eléonore moved to Valparaíso in late 2016 and since 2020 divides her time between Chile and France. Her work has been exhibited in Chile, the United States and Europe and has received multiple awards. A member of Studio Hans Lucas and UP Photographers, Eléonore is also a regular guest and judge at international street photography festivals.
“Passersby is an ongoing series exploring the many mysteries and ambiguities of the urban environment. I see the world as incredibly complex and I want to convey this depth and intricacy — the multiple ways any one thing can be seen/interpreted. Passersby uses reflections and “shooting through” things to produce abstractions. These abstraction help me explore the “spaces in between” — the spaces between what is seen and what is not seen; what is seen and what is felt.” — Linda Hacker is a Brooklyn based fine art/street photographer. Linda’s love of street photography developed into a passion when she moved from a focus on graphical street images to the use of abstraction as a way to blur boundaries and express emotion. Linda is a member of the artists roster of Soho Photo Gallery in downtown Manhattan.
Sandra Cattaneo Adorno
“This series is part of my new book, Águas de Ouro. In this project, I explore my memories of Rio de Janeiro, the city where I was born and that I left as a child to go study abroad. As I revisited the city and the beach of Ipanema many years later, I tried to capture the memories that came back to me, transfigured by my experiences abroad and by the many changes the city has undergone.” — Sandra Cattaneo Adorno started photographing eight years ago, as she turned sixty, and has continuously been thrilled by the new ways of interacting with the world photography has offered her. Photographing is for Sandra always an exploration, always an adventure: she loves photography because it allows her to be open to the world and the people around her in ways that always surprise her. Sandra is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards and her work has been exhibited and published worldwide. Her latest monograph, Águas de Ouro, was published by Radius Books in 2020.
“I’m always drawn to hands, the shapes they make, the act of grasping, reaching, holding on to something. In a city that many categorize as a gray, concrete jungle, I enjoyed finding these pops of colors on hands. It’s like finding rare gemstones — they’re rubies in the city.” — Lynnette Blanche is a photographer based in New York City. Born in Alaska and raised on Florida, she made her way to the city in 2006. Like many before her, she found the city, and its people, a playground for her curiosity and growing interest in the human condition. In 2018, through the encouragement of a friend, she set aside her iPhone and picked up a Hasselblad 501cm film camera. Inspired by Helen Levitt, she aims to reveal the wonder, intimacy, and beauty of the 8 million souls in the city.
Silvia S. Hagge
@Silvia S. Hagge
“I had just started a semi-nomadic life to continue my documentary photo projects in Asia, South America, the Middle East and Europe when the pandemic got me stuck in Paris. Frustrated not to be able to continue with my plans, I decided to create photo projects around me. “Five Eyes” was born during that time and it’s still ongoing. Frustrated to get my glasses foggy when using the face mask, I couldn’t see anything through the finder. I couldn’t see anything but fog. One day I decided to take them off and see what came out through them.” — Silvia S. Hagge was born in Argentina. She’s been an avid traveller from a young age and passionate about different cultures and languages. She has been living in Singapore since 1996. She also lived in New York and Paris. She has a variety of ongoing documentary projects that take her to many countries but her approach is always the same. She takes candid black and white photos.
“Hindu marriage is all about color but all that disappears from a woman’s life when she loses her husband and becomes a widow. Even today, many Hindu women, leave a secluded colorless life. They dress in white, cut their hair short, and stay away from society. However, during Holi, the colorless life of the Indian widows becomes a riot of color, when these unfortunate and lonely women, celebrate as if there is no tomorrow. For once, the spirit is up and the guard is down. They know not what lies ahead but for this day everything else can wait.” — Lopamudra, is a docu-street photographer, educator, and traveler. She likes to think of herself as a student of world culture first before a photographer. Whether it’s documenting nomadic tribes and their lifestyle, chronicling the ancient rituals of religion and faith, or simply capturing candid split-second moments on the streets, it is the human condition and her instinctive ability to visually tell a story. Lopa’s some projects, Changpa nomads, documenting disappearing traditions, portraying LGBT communities, and the lifestyle of cowboys. Lopamudra has led workshops and is a Fujifilm X-mentor. Her work has been widely exhibited and published all over the world.
WOMEN STREET PHOTOGRAPHERS Exhibition details: 59 RIVOLI GALLERY, Paris, France. July 27-August 8, 2021. Gallery Hours: 1PM-8PM.