19 September 2022
Women War Photographers:
A lecture on the exhibition at the Musée de la Libération de Paris
with J.B. Russell
Historically as well as in contemporary times, war photography has been a male-dominated profession, yet many trailblazing women have and continue to be influential in the history of conflict photography and play a decisive role in shaping the public’s image of war.
Through the work of eight renowned women war photographers: Lee Miller (1907-1977), Man Ray’s former assistant and lover, Gerda Taro (1910-1937), Catherine Leroy (1944-2006), Christine Spengler (b. 1945), Françoise Demulder (1947-2008), Susan Meiselas (b. 1948), Carolyn Cole (b. 1961) and Anja Niedringhaus (1965-2014), the exhibition covers 75 years of international conflicts from 1936 to 2011 through some one hundred documents, over eighty photographs and a dozen original newspapers and magazines.
In our lecture we will discover these women’s collective view on the violence and absurdity of war, their unsparing testimonies of atrocities and the consequences of war as well as their intimate glimpses into everyday life on the battlefield and behind the front. We will explore the notion of gender stereotypes in war photography, the female gaze on war, the distinctive ways these women have contributed to publicly revealing the realities of war and the extraordinary, and sometimes tragic, lives they led.
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