Platform brings together essays and portfolios of women who are part of the productive chain of photography in Brazil
To shed light on the participation and historical importance of women in photography is a must, since, as in many other activities, the female presence occupies a still stigmatized place, in an environment where men have always been, arguably, more recognized.
To give new meaning to women's place in the history of photography by highlighting their ample production in the most diverse actions and approaches is one of the main proposals of the Women Light platform.
The project, idealized by the editor, curator and producer Mônica Maia in partnership with Frida Produção Cultural, launched on March 8th of this year, aims to make visible, disseminate and democratize access to content produced by female photographers and women who work in the field of image in Brazil, bringing together essays and portfolios focused on various themes, times and territories, as well as disseminating research and cultural publications.
The proposal came about due to the difficulty of finding publications and references about women's productions during a research about Brazilian female photographers. "I saw myself facing an urgent feeling of creating new collective spaces to strengthen the production of stories told by female photographers and women of the image, cis, transgender and non-binary, and thus ensure narratives and diverse voices that ensure representativity, as well as debate and reflection on issues and choices that promote social and structural change," explains Mônica Maia.
The platform's aim is to act as an environment of research and dissemination of work produced by female photographers, whether documentary, journalistic and artistic essays, as well as content from researchers, anthropologists, educators and producers who are specialized in photography, with a focus on creating a network of professionals so that women can be found and hired in their most diverse activities related to making and thinking photography.
Maíra Gamarra, curator at Mira Latina Lab, and also a partner in the project, believes that the recently inaugurated platform is an unprecedented milestone in the country, and that it still has much to grow and contribute to Brazilian photography. "Mulheres Luz was born inspired by similar organizations in other countries, contributing to stimulate a network of women of and in photography that has been growing and getting stronger in recent years. But "Mulheres Luz" stands out because it is an initiative that has a broader vision, it encompasses several parallel actions that go beyond the platform, which in itself is already extremely important, and they add to this effort to make visible and enhance the work of women in photography," she comments.
Three months into its existence, the project already has more than one hundred participants, including female photographers, cultural producers, researchers, journalists, publishers, and curators from the most diverse regions of the country. The idea is to be a network in constant construction, with professionals in the field of image who are currently active. "I believe that building a network of affection and welcoming in relationships mediated by images created from the perspective of women strengthens future generations, historical and contemporary research," reflects Mônica.
Among the Mulheres Luz are professionals whose careers are a reference in Brazilian photography, as well as young and powerful photographers with relevant work within the current scenario, some of them are also regular contributors to Everyday Brasil, such as Ana Carolina Fernandes, Melissa Warwick and Grazi Barbaresco.
Ana Carolina highlights the lack of representation of women in the photography environment and the need for this to be repaired: "Statistics say that female photographers represent no more than 30% presence in festivals, galleries and awards, despite having had a fundamental importance since the origin of photography. Mulheres Luz came to strengthen this fight - yes, fight - we are a (very) male chauvinist country and Brazilian photography is no different. It is, still, a male-dominated universe. The platform comes to add to the change of established structures, creating a growing spiral of more and more women photographing, being influenced and influencing future generations, and occupying spaces in festivals, books, awards, galleries, walls and wherever else they want."
"The Mulheres Luz platform is an innovative, democratic and indispensable universe where photographers and women of the image of Brazil have the opportunity to give visibility to their work through exhibitions, dialogues and profuse connections. I am very proud to be part of this great project", says Melissa, a photographer based in Aracaju.
Grazi also celebrates the project initiative: "For me, the platform came to expand the space of visual narratives and include a plurality of female voices with extremely potent images and projects.
It is an honor to participate alongside so many female photographers who have always been inspirations for my work, such as Ana Carolina Fernandes."
A first call was held at the opening of the platform and received 463 entries coming from the most diverse places in Brazil. Last week, a call for new registrations was announced, and the works must be sent until June 30th.
The registration can be done on this link: https://www.mulheresluz.com.br/faca-parte/ .
Together with Monica, the project is developed by the editors and producers Ivana Debértolis and Carla Romero, with the support of Simonetta Persichetti, journalist, photography critic and professor of graduation and PPGCOM from Faculdade Cásper Libero, and design and communication advisory from Fernanda Masini.
"Participating as a consultant for the Mulheres Luz project is both incredible and challenging! Thinking about a platform that can map where the women who somehow help to build and, moreover, discuss an image of Brazil are, is fundamental and necessary.
As I always say, women have always been present in the history of photography since the 19th century. The problem is that they have been put aside, and now they are putting themselves forward with all their strength and power," Simonetta points out.
Long live Mulheres Luz, an urgently needed new movement to inspire and encourage women working in the field of image to take up space in the job market.
To find out more about Mulheres Luz: