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L'oeil De La Photographie
© Melissa O'Shaugnessy’s 2015 image from New York City will be part of a Women Street Photographer’s exhibit in Russia this month. O’Shaughnessy returned to the spot over and over to create the perfect composition.

Upcoming Show in Russia to Exhibit Women Street Photographers’ Work

Christina Santucci
Christina Santucci
+August 31, 2020

Street photography has been Gulnara Samoilova’s 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.

“There was so much sexism that came to light. That was my way to protest,” 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.

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© Dimpy Bhalotia. Award-winning, London-based photographer, Dimpy Bhalotia, whose image was selected for the show, mainly works with her iPhone.

After the first Women Street Photographers show took place in December 2018, Samoilova’s 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, “Photofest-2020,” 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, “Photo-fest” is set to showcase five large exhibitions, including three FĂ©dĂ©ration Internationale de l’Art Photographique’s (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.

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© Sandra Cattaneo Adorno. Women Street Photographers exhibition participant Sandra Cattaneo Adorno began photographing when she turned 60.

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.

“I feel very strongly that this exhibition will inspire an army of female photographers,” she said.

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© Heather Solomon’s photograph from Oaxaca, Mexico will be part of the Women Street Photographers show.

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.

“When 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,” she said. “I had to really do a lot of research to find those photographers, and I was really blown away by the talent I have discovered.”

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© Maude Bardet. The show will also include a photograph from Maude Bardet, a French photographer living in the Netherlands.

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.

“I’m hoping it will keep Patti’s name alive,” she said.

The show ends September 30th.

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© Sigrid Debusschere‘s photograph of “Polar Bear Tony” will be exhibited in Chelyabinsk, Russia.
Christina Santucci
Christina Santucci
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Christina is a New York based freelance Photographer and photo editor. A longtime photojournalist, s...

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