Title: Online HER|visual|STORY Digital Photography Festival Launches on International Day of the Elimination of Violence against Women
Narva, Estonia, November 17, 2020
femLENS, in partnership with Foundation for International Girls in the Arts (F.I.G.A) announces today the launch of HER|visual|STORY, an upcoming digital photography festival. Taking place online over four days, HER|visual|STORY invites you to consider the implications for digital equality and visual literacy in a historical moment when the means of production and representation are closely connected.
World Press Photo found women represented less than 20% of entry participants in their 2017 photography contest, also the world’s largest. Through workshops and public art shows, femLENS founder Jekaterina Saveljeva hopes to reverse that trend while empowering women to develop their own voice. “This festival is an opportunity for women experiencing similar barriers around the world to meet each other and plan how to overcome these barriers together,” said Saveljeva.
Named for the Herstory movement launched by Alice Wroe, the HER|visual|STORY program will open with a virtual gallery of photographic work created by refugee women who participated in previous femLENS’ workshops. These unique and precious photo archives will open our conversation on the themes of Space and Representation in digital photography.
“This is not simply a festival, but a call to action, an act of reappropriation and vindication of our cultural production,” explains Alice Castiglione of F.I.G.A.
Speakers will represent women in the creative, artistic and cultural sectors, such as Okky Ardye, a freelance photographer from Indonesia working on issues of human trafficking and migration, Polly Irungu, a Kenyan-American photographer and founder of Black Women Photographers platform, Anne Nwakalor, founder of No! Wahala print magazine in Nigeria and many more. We will also develop practical strategies regarding equality issues in photography, storytelling, writing and internet culture through virtual workshops, discussions, and lectures.
The programming will begin on the International Day of the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25th November 2020 at 4 p.m. CET. For the full schedule, registration and tickets visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/394267285052090/
Founded as a volunteer-driven organisation by the photographer Jekaterina Saveljeva, femLENS’ mission is to visually educate and improve technology awareness by the most vulnerable and resourceless women through documentary photography, a field made increasingly accessible by mobile phone cameras and point-and-shoot cameras. We empower women to create and share their stories.
Since 2015, femLENS has worked with single mothers in Dublin, Ireland; women with physical disabilities in Gdynia, Poland; women living in Shatila Refugee Camp in Beirut, Lebanon; women vulnerable to human trafficking in Zhytomyr, Ukraine; and more. The project was also showcased at TedX Lasnamäe (Invisible Women in Documentary Photography).
F.I.G.A. is a 1-year-long artivist side project by alysvisualart.com. It aims to raise awareness, to create connections, to promote and to support the development of women in visual arts with a special focus on non-UK-native women in photography. F.I.G.A. is an act of reappropriation and cultural resistance, but it is also useful to emphasise the need for a radical change of the creative and cultural industry in terms of approach, representation, and method. Alys started merging feminist activism with her art practice back in 2012 and in 2018 developed the project Stories Of Migrant Women: in collaboration with local realities, Non-Governmental Organisations and institutions. Alys.Thewitch explored the faces, traces and spaces of the female community hosted in Palermo, Mineo and Scicli, producing an acclaimed photographic series exhibited online and offline, and an accessible price high-quality book.
F.I.G.A. is run by Alys.thewitch and it is built from partnerships with local and foreign communities and organisations.
Contact: Alice Castiglione Artivist and visual researcher