Upcoming Show in Russia to Exhibit Women Street Photographersâ Work
+August 31, 2020
Street photography has been Gulnara Samoilovaâs passion for years, and following the 2016 presidential election, she set out to showcase the work of fellow women street photographers in an exhibition in New York City.
âThere was so much sexism that came to light. That was my way to protest,â she said. With a focus on street and fine art imagery, Samoilova previously worked for the Associated Press as a photojournalist, and her images from the World Trade Center on 9/11 received national and international awards.
After the first Women Street Photographers show took place in December 2018, Samoilovaâs idea grew, and in the subsequent months, the organization has held exhibitions in several countries, including in Poland, Brussels, Malaysia, India and Bulgaria. The next stop for the traveling show is Russia. Later this month, works of 50 photographers are slated to be displayed during the international festival of photography, âPhotofest-2020,â at The State Historical Museum of the Southern Urals in Chelyabinsk, Russia. The festival is run by the Chelyabinsk region and the regional Ministry of Culture.
Scheduled to begin August 27, âPhoto-festâ is set to showcase five large exhibitions, including three FĂ©dĂ©ration Internationale de lâArt Photographiqueâs (FIAP) collections, the winners of the Eurasia Photo Awards, the works of award-winning Chelyabinsk photographers, participants of a spring photo competition entitled Isolation74, as well as the Women Street Photographers show.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the event will be a bit different than Samoilova originally envisioned -- as she will not be able to travel to Russia, her country of birth, to prepare the exhibition.
Still, she expects the work to be well received.
âI feel very strongly that this exhibition will inspire an army of female photographers,â she said.
Photographers showcased in the exhibition are based in more than 15 countries, and finding and featuring the work of women from around the world has been a mission for Samoilova from the start.
To locate and keep track of international talent, she started an Instagram account, which currently has more than 95,000 followers.
âWhen I began researching in 2017, I noticed there were quite a few photographers from the US, Australia, and Europe. I wanted to bring light to photographers from other countries like Iran or Turkey -- or Asia,â she said. âI had to really do a lot of research to find those photographers, and I was really blown away by the talent I have discovered.â
She attributes much of the success of her organization to social media, which provides exposure and Samoilova says has led to assignments for several photographers.
In addition, the Women Street Photographers site has also developed a directory for editors and organizations looking to scout new talent for future work.
Before the close of the Russia exhibition, Samoilova plans to announce the winner of the best in show prize, which will be given out in memory of street photographer Patti Fogarty, who died in 2019. Samoilova said she plans to continue the award for future shows and hopes the monetary amount grows over time.
âIâm hoping it will keep Pattiâs name alive,â she said.
The show ends September 30th.