Giving Voice to Black Female Photographers

Giving Voice to Black Female Photographers

It's one thing to be a female and feeling represented in this industry, but it's a whole different thing to be a black female, trying to acquire recognition and voice in photography. How many can you name from the top of your head? For the first time in 30 years, there is a substantial body of work to give an international representation to women of African descent. MFON, "an exclusive and commemorative publication," has collated stories and photographs from over 100 women of African descent, to kick off their first issue, "MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora."

The beauty of this grand project is that it also contains voices of women from academic, journalism, and other arts backgrounds. These women work within different genres, are of various ethnicities and ages, contributing to a truly diverse display of work that celebrates different identities and their ways of telling stories, ranging from fine art to photojournalism and beyond.

Black female laying on a bed surrounded by Polaroid images.

Image by Ian Dooley via Unsplash.

This project is aimed not only at photographers or art enthusiasts, but also as a legacy to the youngest generations. Women are sharing their stories, which act as a historical documentation covering various issues, such as racism and identity.

MFON do not intend to just stop there; they have also developed "MFON Legacy Grant," which will see "emerging black women photographers of African descent" celebrated and awarded. It's inspiring to see that more and more women will be encouraged to display their works of art, even more so because MFON's application process is not confined to those who can afford to enter, instead it's a "no-fee application process" and as such provides a fair opportunity to women, regardless of their financial background. It'll be exciting to see the vast range of work submitted.

Lead image by Autumn Goodman via Unsplash.

[via MFONfoto]

Log in or register to post comments

81 Comments

Dana Goldstein's picture

Wonderful to see! Hope @Fstoppers takes this to heart and begins to feature more women of all colors -- unfortunately their current contributors list tends very heavily in certain directions: https://fstoppers.com/authors

Dana Goldstein's picture

You’ve seriously posted 1,892 comments on Fstoppers? That’s hilarious.

Anonymous's picture

What's really hilarious is that you don't even see the irony in your original comment. You're both calling fstoppers sexist and asking them to be sexist. You're not asking them to feature the best photographers, your asking them to choose women. That's hilarious!

Dana Goldstein's picture

1,893

Dana Goldstein's picture

1,894

Anonymous's picture

Yeah she avoided mine too. Typical libtard

Just admit you are requesting sexism. I can only imagine the uproar if the program was promoting white male photographers.

Even as a nonwhite, I must say the hypocrisy is appalling.

loads of comments....but strangely enough no images in your portfolio, just another mouth with no substance ...

The problem with Fstoppers is that they constantly delete any accounts that belong or just related to black female photographers. Right?

Jeff McCollough's picture

Anyone of any race or "color" can post on Fstoppers as long as the site is not blocked in their country. The Fstoppers team features good photographers...it doesn't matter what your race or color is. How about getting good first then coming back and trying to get featured for being good and not just because you feel special or more important than others.

so you're mad that something was given to a group of under represented people when they are 9.5/10 shut out of anything else. Makes no sense. Would you have been happier if it was just open to women or was it the (Voice to Black Female Photographers) that really got you. Always disappointed by the way some of you guys jump of any post that involves or has to do with a person of color. Just like with the article of the guy that was shot while trying to get his stolen camera back. You guys are BIG MAD.

David Stephen Kalonick's picture

Don't start with this person. Just search their past comments. Pretty sure their trolling or huge Rush fans.

David Stephen Kalonick's picture

Dude, calm down. MFON wants to recognize talented black female artist. You're getting all salty and make it an issue. Should we ask your parents to see if you can submit work? lol

Anonymous's picture

What a blowhard. This guy accuses David of trying to silence him, then states he wishes he could ban his speech because he doesn’t like the way he said it, then has the nerve to wax poetic about the dangers of fascism?!

So full of himself (among other things he’s full of).

Anonymous's picture

It's not name calling if it's describing the truth (a concept you enjoy skirting around to fit your own warped narrative). I'm not going to mince words because it may hurt your fragile sensibilities. And if you think I resorted to calling you names because of a disagreement on a topic, you're more delusional that I thought.

David Stephen Kalonick's picture

Bob, arguing on a thread will get us nowhere. You’re getting upset because a group of people are making a book to give notice to talented artist. Your view on it is your right and that’s fine. I didn’t help the situation by going for the knees with my original comment. When I get upset I do stupid things like said comment.

Let’s start over. Do you really believe that a group of black female artist shouldn’t be allowed to do something like this? Do you think that in a sea of artist that wanting a tiny bit of exposure by having this album might shed light to some really talented artist? How is this wrong? I don’t think it’s a race issue.

this is racism. sorry white woman or all men in all shapes and sizes. its black woman only. thats discrimination and racism. a very very bad thing when its no longer about your skill and the hard work you have put into your photography and no longer about your photography but about you, the black female photographer. lets think about it,. is it about the Art or about the artist ? disgusting . what would you say if instead of black woman it would say white men only ?

so you're mad that something was given to a group of under represented people when they are 9.5/10 shut out of anything else. Makes no sense. Would you have been happier if it was just open to women or was it the (Voice to Black Female Photographers) that really got you. Always disappointed by the way some of you guys jump of any post that involves or has to do with a person of color. Just like with the article of the guy that was shot while trying to get his stolen camera back. You guys are BIG MAD.

David Stephen Kalonick's picture

Don't start with this person. Just search their past comments. Pretty sure their trolling or huge Rush fans.

im against racism or discrimination full stop. if your good you will succeed. example of non white top photographers. John Edmonds, Gerald Cyrus, David Alekhuogie, Shamayim, Endia Beal, Joshua Rashaad McFadden (love his work) Devin N Morris, Michael McCoy, Chandra McCormick, Texas Isaiah, Jasmine Murrell, Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin.

but i notice that there are no eskimo or chinese photographers represented, and OMG, did i just notice that FStoppers does not have a tutorial shot by a black lady or chinese ?

its very easy to shout racism or like david kalonick does shut people out or up but these days its the quality of work and your network that gets you places as it should. not the color of your skin.

check out these black female photographers. they made it because of the quality of their work. LaToya Ruby Frazier, Coreen Simpson, Deborah Willis, Lorna Simpson.

david stephen kalonick, your just a racist.

David Stephen Kalonick's picture

Dude, calm down. MFON wants to recognize talented black female artist. You're getting all salty and make it an issue. Should we ask your parents to see if you can submit work? lol

Did you notice the down votes on your trolling posts ?

David Stephen Kalonick's picture

Dennis, arguing on a thread will get us nowhere. You’re getting upset because a group of people are making a book to give notice to talented artist. Your view on it is your right and that’s fine. I didn’t help the situation by going for the knees with my original comment. When I get upset I do stupid things like said comment.

Let’s start over. Do you really believe that a group of black female artist shouldn’t be allowed to do something like this? Do you think that in a sea of artist that wanting a tiny bit of exposure by having this album might shed light to some really talented artist? How is this wrong? I don’t think it’s a race issue.

first comment you attack,. bad move and not very constructive.

but okay,.let me explain.
first paragraph of the post places a black woman in a "victim" state.
this was the reason for this book and grant.

but what if that woman was white, 6e generation born on the African continent? would she be ruled out as being not black enough ?

if they would have made a book showing images from the best photographers coming from this continent not using color, race or gender to discriminate on i would applaud this initiative. now you are ruled out on gender if you are a man and maybe on color if you are not black enough. how about a mixed race woman, can she be part of this ?

for me, bottom line, if you discriminate based on the color of someones skin, their gender, race or any other feature you are a racist, discriminating and in violation of the human rights act of 1948.

Here come the conservabros

Lance Holloway's picture

Why must we do this? Photography is colorblind. When people look at photographs they either connect with it or they don’t. The person taking the photo is of no consequence. Why is our current society constantly looking for ways to interject race into everything.

Andy Day's picture

Photography might be colourblind, but photography's history is dominated by white, middle class male privilege. Its inherent patriarchal heteronormativity perpetuates its patriarchal heteronormative tendencies.

Johnny Rico's picture

Oh man, we got a white knight in here.

Andy Day's picture

😂

Jeff McCollough's picture

That's nobody's problem. If you are of a race or "color" that feels entitled then just go and get a camera and start working instead of expecting a free pass. All those "white middle class males" never had nothing handed to them on a silver(or other color) platter. They worked for it.

More comments