WOPHA Congress: Women, Photography, and Feminisms launches today in Miami

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© Anouchka Renaud Eck

The two-day event is the first convening of female photography organisations, curators, artists and directors from around the world, and includes 1854’s Female in Focus exhibition

Co-presented by Women Photographers International Archive (WOPHA) and Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), a Congress of women photography organisations and notable industry professionals launches today, 18 November, in Miami. The two-day event, with an in-person and virtual programme, seeks to facilitate debate and celebrate the history and contributions of women in photography. The event’s aim is to, “rewrite the established artistic canon and provoke social change”, through addressing topics of “feminist aesthetics, the decolonisation of archives, and curatorial strategies”.

This year, the Congress comes under the title of ‘Women, Photography, and Feminisms’. Aldeide Delgado, a Latinx art historian and curator, and the founder and director of WOPHA, conceptualised the gathering. “I believe in the power of photography as a political force to rearrange the structure of power and domination of society,” says Delgado. “I am inspired by the legacy of the Female Division of the Cuban Photography Club and how, as a space for women’s socialisation, it broadened the possibilities for creation and recognition of the artistic praxis of women in the public space. In this same vein, I have conceived the WOPHA Congress as a space that will render women photographers visible while advancing critical debate about modern and contemporary photography by women and non-binary practitioners.”

© Paola Jiménez Quispe
© Paola Jiménez Quispe
© Paola Vivas.
© Natalia Garcia.
© Kali Spitzer.
© Maryam Khastoo.

Key participants in the discussions include: Idurre Alonso, associate curator of Latin American Collections at the Getty Research Institute; Mane Adaro, director and editor of Atlas: Visual Imaginary, art historian and curator; Alpesh Kantilal Patel, associate professor of contemporary art and theory at Florida International University; and Marie Vickles, director of education at PAMM.

Elsewhere, an exhibition of works by this year’s winners of 1854 Media’s Female in Focus, including Jodie Bateman and Paola Jiménez Quispe, opens at the newly inaugurated Green Space Miami gallery tonight, on the eve of Art Basel in Miami Beach. The show, sponsored by MPB, forms part of a city-wide programme of exhibitions, performances, artist residencies and studio visits held in tandem with the Congress. 

© Jodie Bateman.
© Jodie Bateman.

“I’m honoured to co-present the Female in Focus exhibition as part of the celebration of the world’s first-ever WOPHA Congress,” says Delgado, who was on the competition’s judging panel. “In a fertile moment where we witness the rise of initiatives oriented to render visible women’s long-neglected contributions to photographic arts, the Female in Focus award represents an extraordinary opportunity for emerging talents to have their work promoted by one of the most prestigious photography platforms.”

To find out more about WOPHA Congress, head to its website

The Female in Focus 2021 exhibition will be shown at Green Space Miami as part of the inaugural Women Photographers International Archive (WOPHA) Congress, from 18 November to 18 January 2022

With thanks to this year’s sponsor: MPB, the world’s largest online platform for used photo and video kit

To find out more about Female in Focus, click here.

Izabela Radwanska Zhang

Starting out as an intern back in 2016, Izabela Radwanska Zhang is now the Editorial Director of British Journal of Photography in print and online. Her words have appeared in Disegno and Press Association. Prior to this, she completed a MA in Magazine Journalism at City University, London, and most recently, a Postgrad Certificate in Graphic Design at London College of Communication.