(Gdynia, Poland, March 8, 2018) This International Women’s Day marks the launch of We See, a biannual women-only documentary photography magazine, edited independently by Estonian-based NGO femLENS. This is not to celebrate women’s achievements but, rather, to encourage women to become change agents themselves while struggling for gender equality, and disrupting gender-stereotypes in cultural and media industry.
The magazine highlights works of women who did not have a professional background in documentary photography or photography in general. The one thing they share in common is their participation in the documentary photography workshops organised by femLENS in Balgaddy, Dublin, Ireland (August-October 2015) , Gdynia, Poland (April-May 2017) and Shatila refugee camp, Beirut, Lebanon (October 2017).
The documentary photography workshops are at the core of femLENS, an organisation that aims to give women from culturally and economically diverse backgrounds the change to show the world through their own vision.
‘This first issue of the We See magazine is dedicated to femLENS, to women and to their eyes. We are starting a long walk to tell women through women, and to encourage women to tell stories and their viewpoints. Thanks to technological developments, today photography is easily accessible and can be used by a large group of people who have never had access to large audiences, or any audience’, declare the editors of the magazine, Jekaterina Saveljeva and Rita Plantera.
‘The pictures you are about to see are raw fruit of work done by people who had very little, if any, experience taking photos. And yet, once our participants were immersed in the basics of the visual alphabet and provided with simple tools, rather than state-of-the-art cameras, they started displaying amazing photographic skills, proving the point already recognised by many: What gives rise to quality photography goes way beyond advanced equipment or a limitless budget’, considers Bogdan Popescu, femLENS Director of Communications.
The photographers highlighted in We See are Paula Haverty (Ireland), Ewa Drewa (Poland), Magdalena Kostrzewska (Poland), Faten Anbar (Lebanon), Halima al-Haj (instagram.com/everydayshatila, Lebanon).
The magazine is available in print in exceptional quality through the Blurb.com service.