To celebrate Women's Month, we caught up with photographer Verónica Sanchís Bencomo, curator and founding member of the platform Foto Féminas, a project that aims to publish photographic work from women from South America and The Caribbean. Learn more about this project in the interview below.
Hi Verónica! Welcome to Lomography Magazine! Tell us a bit about Foto Féminas, when did it start and what are its goals?
Thank you for the invitation, I am very grateful.
Foto Féminas started officially in 2015 with our first publication. The main idea is to promote and show the artistic work of women photographers from South America and the Caribbean, because it was always quite hard to find get to know them and find their work. After I did my own research during my time at University and also after worked in a Latin magazine about art based in London, I finally decided I wanted to create a database with direct online access where you can find all the women photographers in South America and what they do.
The goal is still the same nowadays —to keep working and posting monthly all the photography works of the women artists. Since 2017, we also created an online library where you can find the books all these photographers published. The collection is growing thanks to the donation from the photographers themselves and editorials.
How was the beginning and how is it nowadays?
In the beginning, when I started the research, it was quite hard to get new content because I didn’t know many photographers. However, access to these works changed a lot in the last few years. First of all, the internet helps a lot to find content. And second, social media had a big impact on the posting of the artists, so it is easier for us to reach them and for them to reach us.
Nowadays, Foto Féminas is a community of over 60 women photographers in 12 different countries. Also, thanks to Foto Féminas I could get to know other associations that create content, exhibitions, events, talks and so on, so I kinda find that we support each other and we learn from each other. But what I really like the most about Foto Féminas is being able to be part of this beautiful community of active women artists.
You work with different photographers with very different styles. What do you like the most about doing that?
I find their works very inspiring and also their stories. It is very rewarding to see how they evolve with time. In a short time, Foto Féminas is alive, we could see how some photographers keep on their styles, while others changed and started to experiment with new things —I love diversity! But what I respect the most is their commitment to their subjects and their stories, I really admire that.
Which kind of differences and challenges do you think that women still need to pass in the artistic world?
I can only answer this question from my own experience as a photographer myself. About challenges, I have to confess that I should be more confident in my own work. I feel like, sometimes, with this overexposure of pictures we get from the streets or the internet, we start to compare our work with others and feel insecure about them. On the other hand, during all these years I learned to be proud of being ambitious and that was very positive for my work as a photographer. Personally, I think that society still judges when women are ambitious. In my opinion, being ambitious in a good way helps us to get better day by day and find different ways to reach our goals.
In previous years, there has already been a rise of prominent women and feminist movements not only in photography but in the art world, in general. In what ways do you think we could continue moving forward and away from gender inequality within the art world?
I think this is a global movement —it is everywhere, in different fields. I think that the most important thing is to work hard and never let down our goals. To make a change we need to start somewhere. You will get angry or frustrated during the way, and a lot of questions will come up, but also answers, and in this hunt, there is something great to find.
Which new projects are coming in Foto Féminas? And in your personal work?
For now, we don’t have any exhibition programmed, however, we are still working hard because Foto Féminas’ library is starting to be very active in pop-up activities in Hong Kong and other Asian locations. On my personal work, I am still working as a freelancer photographer in Hong Kong and also, lately I am cooperating with different press contacts from South America doing interviews with women photographers of the continent.
written by tatianapons on 2020-03-14