31 women to watch out for

Now in its second year, the PHmuseum Women Photographer Grant has a simple premise – to recognise and award world-class photographers, who also happen to be women. Judged this year by a prestigious panel including Magnum photographer Alessandra Sanguinetti and The Photographers’ Gallery senior curator Karen McQuaid, the Grant has two main sections – The Women Photographer Grant and the New Generation Prize for those under 30 years of age. This year the following series have made the shortlist:

Aletheia Casey, No Blood Stained the Wattle
Alexa Vachon, Rise
Alice Mann, Drummies
Anna Boyiazis, Finding Freedom in the Water
Ayline Olukman, Psyche
Claudia Gori, The Sentinels: Electrosensitivity in Italy
Diana Markosian, Santa Barbara
Elena Anosova, Out-of-the-Way
Eleonora Strano, The Dark Embrace
Encarni Pindado, Central American, Women Migration
Giya Makondo-Wills, The Came From the Water While the World Watched
Gulnara Samoilova, Lost Family
Iggy Smalls, Neverland
Johanna Maria Fritz, Like a Bird
Karolina Gembara, Seven Sisters
Ksenia Kuleshova, Abkhazia
Laura Pannack, The Cracker
Lee Grant, The Korea Project (Working Title)
Louisa Boeszoermeny, The State I Am In
Maria Contreras Coll, Journey to Impurity
Maria Sturm, “You Don’t Look Native to Me”
Medina Dugger, Chroma: And Ode to J.D. Okhai Ojeikere
Melissa Spitz, You Have Nothing to Worry About
Roisin White, Lay Her Down Upon Her Back
Sabiha Çimen, KKK (Quran School for Girls)
Sara Hylton, Nobody Listened
Silvana Trevale, Venezuelan Youth
Sinead Kennedy, To Set Fire to the Sea
Susan Worsham, Bittersweet on Bostwick Lane
Suzette Luiken, Faces of Mirrors
Tamara Merino Bloch, Underland

From Santa Barbara © Diana Markosian

The winner in the main category gets £5000, second place £2000, and third place £1000; in addition all three will be published in YET Magazine and see their work projected at Photo Vogue Festival. The New Generation Prize winner receives £2000, a mentorship with Magnum Photos’ Global Business Development Director Fiona Rogers, a nomination for World Press Photo’s 2019 Joop Swart Masterclass, as well as publication in YET Magazine, and a projection at Photo Vogue Festival 2018.

In addition, Alessia Glaviano, Chiara Bardelli Nonino, and Francesca Marani will each select one work from all the submissions to be published online on Vogue Italia‘s PhotoVogue site, and Alfio Tommasini, artistic director of Verzasca Foto Festival, will select one work for a solo show during the 2019 edition of the festival. The PHmuseum Women Photographer Grant is also supported by Firecracker, Girlgaze, and foto-feminas.com. The winners will be announced on 04 December.


Abkhazia, Sukhum, 04/07/2017. Children spend their free time on the beach. From Abkhazia © Ksenia Kuleshova
From Bittersweet on Bostwick Lane © Susan Worsham
From Central American Women Migration © Encarni Pindado
From Chroma: And Ode to J.D. Okhai Ojeikere © Medina Dugger
Chloe Heydenrych, Paige Titus, Ashnique Paulse, Elizabeth Jordan and Chleo de Kock, on their practice session over a national public holiday. The team makes use of every availible chance to practise, meaning there are no days off. From Drummies © Alice Mann
From Faces of Mirrors © Suzette Luiken
Kijini Primary School students learn to float, swim and perform rescues on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 in the Indian Ocean off of Muyuni, Zanzibar. From Finding Freedom in the Water © Anna Boyiazis
From Journey To Impurity © Maria Contreras Coll
From KKK (Quran School for Girls) © Sabiha Çimen
From Lay Her Down Upon Her Back © Roisin White
Abdallah (24) and his whole family have been working as circus riders for generations. They have a farm a bit outside the Gaza City and give daily shows for free on the beach. Gaza City, Palestine 2016. From Like a Bird © Johanna Maria Fritz
From Lost Family © Gulnara Samoilova
Tasmania (Australia) was inhabited for an estimated 40,000 years by the Tasmanian Aborigines. The British invasion in 1803 and the subsequent conflicts and eventual war which ensued obliterated almost the entire Indigenous population in under 30 years. This series focuses on the little-known massacre sites throughout Tasmania to examine the notion of deliberate historical forgetting. From the series No Blood Stained the Wattle © Aletheia Casey
Dannataya Burns, 10, and her aunt Michelle Burns, 30, find peace among the trees in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Monica Lee Burns, Dannataya’s mother and Michelle’s twin sister, was found in a desolate area outside of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan in January 2015. Michelle was killed by a 38-year-old white male who received 13 years in prison. “I feel lonesome a lot, my Elder tells me to pray to the creator and to go near a tree” said Michelle. “When you think about all the missing and murdered indigenous women, they don’t have a voice so their family members are the ones trying to have a voice. I have to remember that [Dannataya] is watching me. When I walk, I try to walk with good intentions so that when she’s older she won’t end up lost. Her mom would want good things for her.” From Nobody Listened © Sara Hylton
This is Nikita, he is 14 years old. He sorts nets after fishing in a break between preparation for final examinations at school. Katangsky District, Irkutsky region. Russia, 2017. From Out-of-the-Way © Elena Anosova
From Psyche © Ayline Olukman
From Venezuelan Youth © Silvana Trevale
From Rise © Alexa Vachon
From Seven Sisters © Karolina Gembara
From The Cracker © Laura Pannack
From The Dark Embrace © Eleonora Strano
From The Korea Project (Working Title) © Lee Grant
From The Sentinels: Electrosensitivity in Italy © Claudia Gori
From The State I Am In © Louisa Boeszoermeny
From The Came From the Water While the World Watched © Giya Makondo-Wills
From To Set Fire to the Sea © Sinead Kennedy
Manuel Gonzales, 77 years old, and Encarna Sanchez, 75 years old, pose for a portrait in their living room. This cave was the house of Encarna’s family. She was born in a room at the end of this cave and Manuel was also born and raised in the caves of Guadix. Nowadays they both live with their dog in the cave her mother left them. Guadix, Spain 2018. From Underland © Tamara Merino Bloch
From You Don’t Look Native to Me © Maria Sturm
From You Have Nothing to Worry About © Melissa Spitz
Diane Smyth

Diane Smyth is the editor of BJP, returning for a second stint on staff in 2023 - after 15 years on the team until 2019. As a freelancer, she has written for The Guardian, FT Weekend Magazine, Creative Review, Aperture, FOAM, Aesthetica and Apollo. She has also curated exhibitions for institutions such as The Photographers Gallery and Lianzhou Foto Festival. You can follow her on instagram @dismy