Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

The female street photographers of Instagram – in pictures

From the Guardian

The art of street photography was long dominated by men and the ‘male gaze’, but new project Her Side of the Street celebrates women’s role in the practice…


Graciela Magnoni, a French-Uruguayan-Brazilian former photojournalist, captures two women walking in Singapore. Photograph: Graciela Magnoni

Throughout history, women have often been subject to observation and evaluation from men as they walk down city streets – whether ogled as objects of desire or judged for their appearance or even presence in certain spaces. In literary and social history, men have usually been the ones who watch, rather than be watched; the urban observer which 19th-century poet Baudelaire made famous as the “flâneur”……

As in the literary tradition, so in the artistic one: the concept of the “male gaze” – depicting the world from a male perspective – dominates much of the history of visual arts. Most early street photographers were men – from Eugène Atget andHenri Cartier-Bresson to Weegee. In time, however, there were exceptions to this rule, notably Vivian Maier and Diane Arbus who became some of the most celebrated street photographers of the 20th century.

Last year, American photographer Casey Meshbesher felt compelled to create a compendium of street photography by women after noticing that very little could be found about the practice online or in print. She founded the blogzine Her Side of the Street focusing on female street photographers, as well as setting up the growing Women Street Photographers community and trying to map female street photographers around the world……

more here


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