Photobooks by Women

02 January 2019

SIG: Contemporary

Others have taken up the reins (of books on photobooks), such as the recent "How We See: Photobooks by Women" ... Gerry Badger [BJP, February 2019].

This latest publication describes 100 photobooks by women, comprising ten titles chosen by ten women, each concentrating on different regions of the world. Initial research finds the usual disproportionate situation, with just 10.5% of titles listed in the various ‘books on books’ previously published are by women. 

The section dealing with Western Europe, including the UK, includes this year’s winning photobook "On Abortion", by Laia Abril. The section on Latin America includes "Memorandum", by Ana Paula Estrada, which was short-listed in the 2016 RPS International Photobook Exhibition. 

An appendix lists 38 chronological highlights, starting with Anna Atkins cyanotypes from 1843, considered the first photobook, and includes Dorothea Lange’s 1939 publication on US poverty and migration, Diane Arbus’s monograph, Nan Goldin’s 1986 "Ballad of Sexual Dependency" through to Laia Abril’s "On Abortion" and  Carmen Winant’s 2018 book "My Birth".

"So if you are interested in photobooks, I don’t think there’s a way around getting yourself a copy of How We See: Photobooks by Women. It’s not only a must-have addition to the world of books about photobooks. It also is going to become an essential part of a larger, long overdue discussion in photoland about who gets to make the pictures, who the pictures are of, and who gets to see them" ... Jörg M. Colberg, 31 Dec 2018 


Brian Steptoe, RPS Contemporary Group, Events and Publicity