ICP and Reuters Host Women in Focus in London

The event featured an all-female group of Pulitzer Prize–winning photographers, photo editors, curators, and journalists sharing examples of their groundbreaking work.
Nov 27, 2018
The event featured an all-female group of Pulitzer Prize–winning photographers, photo editors, curators, and journalists sharing examples of their groundbreaking work.
Anastasia Taylor-Lind, Olivia Arthur, Yumna Al-Arashi, Jodi Cobb, and Jo Webster during the Gaining Access and Building Trust panel at the Women In Focus event in London. Photo by Carmen Valino.

On Tuesday, November 14, at the Ned Hotel in London, an at-capacity audience of nearly 200 photographic industry professionals attended a one-day event, Women In Focus, celebrating women in photojournalism.

This was the second collaboration between Reuters and the International Center of Photography, who last worked together in December 2016 to co-present Iconic in an Instant? One Trillion Images at the ICP Museum in New York. That event covered a wide variety of subjects, including the rise of citizen photojournalism, the virality of images, and how iconic images are made and the ethics of conflict photography.

The 2018 event saw an all-female group of Pulitzer Prize–winning photographers, photo editors, curators, and journalists sharing examples of their groundbreaking 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.

ICP Director of Exhibitions and Collections Erin Barnett highlights the work of three under recognized women photographers working in the first half of the twentieth century during a presentation titled Neglected No Longer? Photo by Carmen Valino.

Notable speakers included:

  • Daniella Zalcman, documentary photographer, founder of Women Photograph, and 2018 ICP Infinity Award recipient, who highlighted the importance and resources available to elevate the voices of women visual journalists.
  • Erin Barnett, director of exhibitions and collections at the International Center of Photography, who gave a richer and deeper historical context for the day’s program by highlighting three women working in the first half of the twentieth century, including Alice Seeley Harris, Emmy Andriesse, and Toyoko Tokiwa, whose work should be better known and made exceptional work in the areas of the day’s topics of photography and social change, conflict photography, and gaining access.
  • Susan Meiselas, documentary photographer and president of the Magnum Foundation, who presented her work from her recent book on the lives of women in a domestic violence refuge center in the UK, through images where they are absent and yet present.
  • Lynsey Addario, Pulitzer Prize–winning photojournalist, author, and 2017 ICP Spotlights honoree, in conversation with Alessandra Galloni, global news editor at Reuters
  • Hilary Roberts, research curator of photography at the Imperial War Museums, who gave a powerful overview of the female photographers of World War I who were the first women to photograph war in any situation and the first to deal with the associated issues.
Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi, Zohra Bensemra, Lynsey Addario, and Razia Iqbal discuss the challenges of documenting violence in conflict zones. Photo by Carmen Valino.

A series of panel discussions included:

  • Gaining Access and Building Trust, moderated by Jo Webster, managing editor for strategy and operations, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, at Reuters and featuring Yumna Al-Arashi, photographer, filmmaker and writer; Olivia Arthur, photographer and co-founder, Fishbar; Jodi Cobb, photographer, National Geographic; and 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 remarkable stories of subjects that are both intimate and universal.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.”
  • Photography and Social Change, moderated by Jane Barrett, global head of multimedia, editorial at Reuters, who discussed respective working methods and presentation mediums with; Sim Chi Yin, photographer and researcher, Magnum Photos; Diana Matar, photographic artist; and Hannah McKay, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist at Reuters.
  • Photo Editors and Mass Perception, moderated by John Pullman, global head of video and pictures at Reuters, in conversation with Alexandra Bell, multidisciplinary artist and 2018 ICP Infinity Award recipient; Corinne Perkins, editor, North America pictures at Reuters; and Fiona Shields, head of photography at The Guardian. Alexandra Bell showcased her artistic methods of exposing racism in the media 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.
  • Documenting Violence, moderated by Razia Iqbal, special correspondent and presenter at the BBC, and featuring Lynsey Addario, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, author, and 2017 ICP Spotlights honoree; Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi, photographer; and Zohra Bensemra, chief photographer for Northwest Africa at Reuters. All panelists 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 recognizing the human element.
Attendees mingle during a break at the Ned Hotel. Photo by Carmen Valino.

The program featured networking breaks to allow for dedicated time for panelists, speakers, and audience members to interact and included remarks from Reuters’ Editor-At-Large Sir Harold Evans, ICP’s Executive Director Mark Lubell, Reuters’ Editor-in-Chief Steve Adler, and Alessandra Galloni, global news editor at Reuters.