'Women in Focus' event summary - Reuters News Agency
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‘Women in Focus’ event summary

Women In Focus

On Tuesday, 14 November, at The Ned Hotel in London, a packed audience of photographic industry professionals attended a one-day event, ‘Women In Focus’, celebrating women in photojournalism.

The Reuters and International Center of Photography led event saw an all-female group of Pulitzer-Prize-winning photographers, photo editors, curators and journalists sharing examples of their ground-breaking work.

All of those who attended reflected on their lives working in a traditionally male-dominated field and shared hopes for a more diverse and inclusive photojournalism community of the future.

Notable speakers included:

– Daniella Zalcman, documentary photographer and founder, Women Photograph

– Erin Barnett, Director of Exhibitions & Collections, International Center of Photography

– Susan Meiselas, documentary photographer and president, Magnum Foundation

– Lynsey Addario, Pulitzer-Prize-Winning photojournalist and author, in conversation with Alessandra Galloni, Global News Editor, Reuters

– Hilary Roberts, Research Curator of Photography, Imperial War Museums

A series of panel discussions included:

– Jo Webster, Managing Editor for Strategy & Operations, EMEA, Reuters, moderated a panel on ‘Gaining Access and Building Trust’ with:

– Yumna Al-Arashi, photographer, filmmaker and writer

– Olivia Arthur, photographer and co-founder, Fishbar

– Jodi Cobb, photographer, National Geographic

– Anastasia Taylor-Lind, documentary photographer

All four women shared experiences and examples of their work where the issue of trust has been crucial in allowing them to capture intimate subjects.

In particular, Jodi Cobb revealed the background to her incredible images of Geisha and Yumna Al-Arashi admitted her images shone “such a diverse take on the world.”

– Jane Barrett, Global Head of Multimedia, Editorial, Reuters, moderated a panel on ‘Photography and Social Change’ with:

– Sim Chi Yin, photographer and researcher, Magnum Photos

– Diana Matar, photographic artist

– Hannah McKay, Pulitzer-Prize-Winning photographer, Reuters

Hannah McKay described her experiences of shooting in Bangladesh, telling the audience: “I had to illustrate the story how I saw it.”

– John Pullman, Global Head of Video and Pictures, Reuters, moderated a panel on ‘Photo Editors and Mass Perception’ with:

– Alexandra Bell, multidisciplinary artist

– Corinne Perkins, Editor, North America Pictures, Reuters

– Fiona Shields, Head of Photography, The Guardian

Alexandra Bell showcased her artistic methods of exposing media racism with particular emphasis on the US media coverage of the Charlottesville protests. Corinne Perkins and Fiona Shields debated the daily challenges around diversity and representation, in their role as picture editors.

– Razia Iqbal, Special Correspondent / Presenter, BBC, moderated a panel on ‘Documenting Violence’ with:

– Lynsey Addario, Pulitzer-Prize-Winning photojournalist and author

– Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi, photographer

– Zohra Bensemra, Chief Photographer for Northwest Africa, Reuters

All panellists opened up about the challenges around documenting violence in conflict zones, including their own safety which can be constantly under threat. They also described the regular struggle in shooting difficult and dangerous subjects at the same time as recognising the human element.

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