Photography - A Feminist History, Emma Lewis

Photography by Pria Kambli

Photograph by Priya Kambli

When Emma Lewis first discovered the work of artist and activist Joan E Biren (known as JEB) in 2016, she describes it as a “lightbulb moment.” Biren – who began documenting the lives of LGBTQ+ people in the 1970s, and used her camera as a revolutionary tool to advance social justice for lesbians – was well known in the States. So why had Lewis, a curator at Tate Modern, never heard of her?1

… part of an ongoing effort in the art and museum world to give greater recognition to women in the arts… in this case, photography… read this article in AnOther Magazine about it… because of my oft stated interest in women in photography, i have purchased the Kindle version of the book… my library of unread books grows… how does one set aside enough time for all the books one wants to read?…


  1. Florence Skelton, From Dorothea Lange to JEB: Feminist Histories Captured on Camera, AnOther Magazine, November 30, 2021 [return]

A Review of Titane Intrigues Me in All Sorts of Ways…

a review of Titane in Hyperallergic… i wonder if H will be interested?…

02 The Bell Jar, Chapter 09, Sylvia Plath

… the more i read, the more i realize that Bell Jar is a feminist work, carefully outlining the options available to women in the day and setting the heroine up to choose among unappealing alternatives… we’ve had the fatherly doctor-to-be proposing marriage already… it seems to be a fantasy that Esther doesn’t want… now we are following her and Hilda to work… Hilda, who is busy being a store mannequin and looking at herself in every window that bounces back her reflection… Hilda seems to have settled on the fantasy she wants…

… a dramatic twist, a blind date, Marco, attempts to rape Esther… her last night in the city… it prepares to spit her out…

04 Another Gaze, Another Screen

… an article in Hyperallergic introduces me to a feminist film streaming service, Another Screen, which in turn introduces me to a feminist website, Another Gaze, which finally takes me to an article on Cinema Scope, In Search of the Female Gaze, like a series of Russian dolls… a lot to explore… more later…

06 What’s in a name?

… interesting article on the problem with naming women artists, who’s histories are all too often tied up with men more famous then they during their lifetimes… and then there are the ways that the patriarchy patronizes women when it names them…

In 2017, French novelist Marie Darrieussecq’s succinct biography of early 20th-century German painter Paula Modersohn-Becker, Being Here Is Everything, was published in English. In it, Darrieussecq calls her subject Paula, while the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, who was her friend, is called Rilke. When asked about this disparity in The Paris Review, Darrieussecq was blunt, “It’s the truth about men and women. It still is. It’s hard to have a name when you’re a woman.”1