The central body of my poetic work is unequivocally the love poetry which is addressed to both genders.
Ever since its invention back in the 18th century, photography has been documenting life. At the same time it focuses on inviting audiences to a rather subjective world, while trying to be taken serious as an art form. Photography has always been considered a male dominated profession, but luckily things are changing. Scholars, writers, bloggers, photography students and enthusiasts have been giving due to the female pioneers of the field. Most of them were always standing and/or hiding in the shadows, oblivious to how much they could acclaim and accomplish. Arguably, the technique, concepts and thematic female photographers use differ from those of a male photographer. At a time when most women were convinced that their place was in the kitchen and certainly not in the dark room, there were those who were struggling to surpass their male counterparts and work towards gaining respect and recognition for their work.
Khadija Saye (Gambian-British photographer, 1992-2017) was born in London and attended a Catholic Girls' School, before winning a scholarship to Rugby School. After that, she attended the University for the Creative Arts at Farnham and obtained a photography degree. Saye's photography explored her Gambian-British roots and identity. Her project Dwellings: in this Space we Breathe was based on Gambian spiritual practices and was exhibited in the Diaspora Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017. Khadija took part in a BBC documentary about the participants of the Venice Biennale and how they were 'a group of diverse emerging artists'. Sadly, Saye died in the Grenfell Tower fire, in June 2017, when a high-rise fire broke out in the 24-storey tower block of flats in North Kensington, in West London. Saye was a passionate activist and educator, and a volunteer at Jawaab, set on educating and empowering young Muslims. After her untimely death, Khadija Saye Arts was launched at IntoUniversity. The program addresses the issue of Black, Asian and minority ethnic inclusivity in the creative industries and provides support and mentoring to disadvantaged communities. The launch of Khadija Saye Arts coincided with the unveiling of nine large-scale prints of Saye's that were displayed across the outside façade of 236 Westbourne Grove in West London. In both her life and work, Khadija was socio-politically engaged, eager on addressing social justice and educational inequality issues.
On 14 June 2017, artist Khadija Saye was killed in the fire at Grenfell Tower, aged 24. Saye's work in Tate's collection calls into question the rituals or objects that we turn to for solace in life's most challenging moments. She is greatly missed.
We will continue talking about female names that left their mark in photography and about contemporary female photographers who are still to emerge. There are a lot of female photographers out there deserving of praise and we can only hope to cover as many of them as we can. Please, follow this space to find out more.