Women in the Spotlight, but Few Behind the Lens

Susan Meiselas, the much-lauded Magnum photographer maybe greatest recognized for her arresting 1979 shot of a Nicaraguan revolutionary lobbing a Molotov cocktail, stated she was caught without warning when Sam Stourdzé, the director of the Rencontres d’Arles pictures truthful in France, phoned in April to say she had gained a significant new award — from a luxurious vogue group.

“I am the least fashionable person you might ever know,” the 71-year-old Baltimore-born documentarian stated final month throughout a sizzling summer time night in her studio on Manhattan’s Mott Street. “I mean it.”

She was dressed in a short-sleeved madras shirt that she had purchased in India “about 35 years ago,” black trousers and fuchsia trainers. She wore no make-up and her studying glasses had been perched atop her head of shoulder-length auburn hair. The house — the naturally cool basement of a Victorian constructing the place she has lived since 1974 — was crowded with lengthy tables stacked with pictures books, newsmagazines and different detritus of a life spent, as she stated, “humping about” struggle zones and backwoods, Leica M4 in hand.

So why, she puzzled, was she receiving the first Women in Motion pictures award from Kering, the Paris-based conglomerate that owns Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga? Was vogue, which has been co-opting artwork photographers for a while, now turning its consideration towards documentary and information domains to present its wares a extra severe — or not less than much less frivolous — air?

In an effort to begin closing that gap, the festival worked with Kering to create the prize, which will be presented on Tuesday as part of the fair’s 50th edition. It includes a check for 25,000 euros, or $28,420. (In comparison, the World Press Photo Story of the Year winner gets €10,000 and the Pulitzer Prize photography winners each get $15,000.)

Mr. Pinault said he saw the award as a natural extension of the luxury group’s five-year-old Women in Motion forum/award, held during the Cannes Film Festival and conceived to focus attention on the lack of female representation in the movie industry.

“We wondered, ‘Why is there discrimination in photography? Why are there more men than women?’” Mr. Pinault said in May over tea at the Majestic hotel in Cannes. “There needed to be a reckoning.”

As for Ms. Meiselas, who received the Robert Capa Gold Medal from the Overseas Press Club of America for “outstanding courage and reporting” in 1979, a MacArthur Fellowship in 1992, the International Center of Photography’s 2005 Cornell Capa Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2015, and, in May, the prestigious Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize, “it was the title of the award — Woman in Motion — that got me,” she said. “I really wanted to identify with that idea.”

Source link Nytimes.com

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