Title: From a Wom*n’s Point of View: Empowering migrant women to tell their stories using mobile phone photography
Berlin, Germany, October 16, 2019
For Immediate Release
femLENS, the non-profit association aimed at empowering women through documentary photography, is proud to announce an upcoming public photo exhibition, “From a Wom*n’s Point of View”, inviting the viewer to witness the daily experience of migrant women living in Berlin and reflect on the unevenness of the word “human”.
The word “human” is not an inclusive word. For one, not all men are equally human – ideology, culture and traditions have, for centuries, made brown, rural, migrant or just different men less than human. Then there’s the issue of not all humans being men. Wom*n are forced to deal with their otherness, as well as with other factors.
The exhibition “From a Wom*n’s Point of View” brings together photographs taken by women from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds. Between March and July 2019, femLENS has held a series of workshops with women from Mexico, Colombia, Syria, Austria, Brazil, Kenya, Ukraine, Korea, U.S. and Germany. They learned the history of documentary photography, photographic techniques, photo editing techniques using mobile applications, and writing an accompanying text to the photo story.
Each of the six women whose work will be shown in the street photo exhibition produced a photo story based on their lives in Berlin. The subjects of these photo stories are as individual as the women themselves, who offer the viewer access to their deeply personal and unique perspective as they move through their environment. The unique perspectives remind us that there is no one point of view on life.
Refugees from the Middle East are seen as acceptable migrants due to the ongoing wars of interests in their home countries, and Western society makes space for them, without experiencing much inconvenience. In fact, these migrants help to still the conscience and questions about what is actually going on in that part of the world.
Economic migrants that come from Asia, South America and parts of Africa to work and study help the West fill the vacancies that the local population is not willing to for lack of decent pay and social respect. These migrants also pay exorbitant amounts of money to access education in the West, subsidising a crumbling system.
There are also the undesirables. They’re not running from wars or looking to do the dirty jobs in the care and hospitality industries. They don’t fit in or integrate; they come and demand a space to just be and be respected. This is where the cracks of our civilisation really show themselves.
This is a way to look at the photos presented in this exhibition. To see the full stories, visit www.femlens.com
The street photo exhibition “From a Wom*n’s Point of View” will be available for public viewing in Alt-Treptow, corner of Bouchéstraße and Jordanstraße, 12435 Berlin from 25 October 2019 at 16:00.
The 2019 workshops were made possible with the generosity and participation of Die Lernwerkstatt, a public non-profit space for teaching and learning, International Women’s Space, a women-led learning and action space, and Art Despite Exclusion festival. By exhibiting the photos made during the workshops, femLENS demonstrates the importance of such spaces, as well as the value of volunteer work and skill-sharing in the local community.
Founded as a volunteer-driven organisation by the photographer Jekaterina Saveljeva, femLENS’ mission is to visually educate and improve technology awareness of women from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds 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; girls living in Zhytomyr, a region of Ukraine where 69% of the population is vulnerable to human trafficking; and more. The project was also showcased at TedX Lasnamäe (Invisible Women in Documentary Photography).
Contact: Jekaterina Saveljeva, Founder and Workshop Coordinator