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The relationship between women and photography.

From the beginning of history and particularly from the Middle Ages forward, women were impressed by photography’s ability to tell the story of the past and build the future.
They were impressed by its ‘freedom’ from the historical conventions of the time.

Photography as a modern technology or as a tool of society?

The association of women with the camera has always maintained two theories. The first concerns the construction of photography as modern and democratic technology. The second one contributes to the reconfirmation of conventional gender roles threatened by social change.

All rights reserved, Eikona Studio Photography by Guido Fuà.

In fact, most of the time women are in front of the camera lens. In the depiction of women, the body has an undoubted centrality. The history of art is largely about female bodies. Photography introduces two strong new elements. Firstly, it stages real, given bodies. Imagery and representation have to come to terms with a pre-existing starting point. Secondly, it allows the depicted subject to participate, to some extent, on its own even without passing through the other side of the lens.

What kind of relationship is there today?

In straightforward, we can define women’s relationship with photography as complex and developing. On the one hand, it has allowed artistic and scientific experimentation with a certain degree of self-determination and paid work. On the other hand, it has fixed the image of femininity as the primary spectacle of ancient and modern visual culture.

All rights reserved. Eikona Studio Photography by Guido Fuà

In the Italian scenario, there is an almost complete lack of works that investigate more closely the other side of the coin. That is, women photographers, the subject and not the object of their gaze. Their contribution to the development of photography has been considered and should not be underestimated.
The world of women as photographers remains unexplored to this day. This is why we have already discussed it in detail in an article: https://eikona.eu/women-photographers-contrasto-editions-robert-delpire-pioneers-revolutionary-women-visionaries/

Fortunately, over the years, photographic technology has become cheaper and therefore accessible worldwide. Women began to participate in its development and practice.
Moreover, with the advent of digital technologies and the web, photography remains a significant tool for self-determination today.
Despite this, the art of photography remains stubbornly male-dominated. In terms of commissioning, exhibiting and publishing work, there is a glaring lack of equality in the photography industry.

If you want to know more, we recommend this article: https://theconversation.com/women-were-photography-pioneers-yet-gender-inequality-persists-in-the-industry-today-119056

Written by Nathalie Leoni.

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