The BPPA has come in for some criticism from a group called Women Photographers of the UK about what they refer to as the uneven representation of women in the current Assignments 2019 exhibition. You can read their open letter here on Medium. This is a response from Lynne Cameron, Vice Chair of The BPPA.
Dear Suzanne, Anna and Susannah
We would like to reassure those expressing concerns about the representation of women in our industry that we are very aware of the issues and are currently working on projects to support and help current and future female members of the organisation. We were disappointed that these concerns were not directed to The BPPA in the first instance as we welcome all constructive criticism. It is one of our core values to work transparently with all parties in any matter related to photography.
The issue of gender imbalance is a complex one, not just related to photography but to wider society.
The association is proactively working to improve such imbalances. As an example The BPPA elected me as Vice Chair and Julie Edwards as our Social Media and Website Editor at last year’s AGM. We are both long-standing professional photographers who have first hand experience of gender related issues within our industry. Julie and I are bringing our experiences, energy and ideas to The Board and welcome further positive constructive comments which could help address this wider topic.
In relation to the exhibition (it is not a competition) we would like to reassure those concerned that images were curated by highly regarded members of the profession who were deliberately not given any information about the name or gender of the photographers in order to make the selection process ‘about the images’ as far as is humanly possible.
We are extremely proud of Assignments – an exhibition designed to promote and highlight the amazing work that is being produced by our members.
The Board of The BPPA welcomes constructive input from anyone who wants to help to promote and inspire great photography. If you have ideas on what more can be done on the issues raised then please get in contact with me or any of the other members of our Board.
Vice Chair, The BPPA
1. The BPPA has 321 paid-up members of whom 40 are women – which is approximately 12.46%.
2. 16 photographers joined or rejoined in order to take part in Assignments 2019 of whom 25% were women.
3. 161 photographers entered photographs for Assignments 2019 of whom 18 were women – 11.2%
4. 1,351 photographs were entered of which 148 were entered by women – 10.95%
5. 110 photographs were selected for exhibition of which 10 were by women – 9.3%
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