We are grateful for this feature by Tracy Piper-Wright for the ninth issue of MAI: Feminism and Visual Culture focusing on Photography and Resistance.
Read the article here about femLENS and our work, and the work of Jo Spence and Joan Solomon (What Can a Woman Do with A Camera?) in the larger context of women’s contribution to visual culture.
“While femLENS workshops raise questions of how and where women are represented in visual media, the issues of identity at stake extend toward the structural and institutional barriers that exist for women through economic, social, or cultural circumstances. In this contemporary context it is the quest for a distributed visibility rather than an exploration of identity politics, which drives the mission to give voice to those who are excluded from the visual realm through lack of access to cameras and the ability to frame their own experiences visually.
These distinctions reflect the development of feminist thinking and practice in the intervening decades, but notwithstanding there are strong lines of correspondence between the book and organisation. The work that femLENS does could easily be subtitled ‘what can a woman do with a camera?’ Both the 1995 book and contemporary 21st century organisation have at their root the empowerment of women as photographers and storytellers of women’s experiences.”