News,  Photo Education & Accessibility

The Royal Photographic Society Education – Workshops and Lectures in Partnership with TheAppWhisperer


I just mentioned how delighted I am to be working closer with The Royal Photographic Society (The RPS) and reported on their very generous bursaries (see here).  I also wanted to draw your attention to a series of Visual Literacy Lectures that The RPS are hosting within the UK during the year.

This year’s educational focus is on Women in Photography and featured photographers range from early pioneers such as Julia Margaret Cameron and renowned street photographers including Vivian Maier to contemporary photographers such as Gina Glover and Eva Stenham.

This series of talks reflects on the historical and contemporary contribution made by women to photography. From the perspective of the photographer, we will be discussing their work and asking how and if gender makes a difference to the way they work and the influence it may have on their subject.

Further talks focus on photographers known for their iconic images of women before and during the age of glamour, and consider the unique relationship these photographers had with their sitters.

Read below to find out more and to book/enquire go here:

Women in Photography – London – Kajal Nisha Patel – 10 June 2015 – 1830 – 2100 – Free

Kajal Nisha Patel is an award-winning photographer, working between the UK and India. She is the founder of Lightseekers social enterprise, which uses photography and storytelling as a platform to learn about and engage with important social issues.

Kajal has exhibited in venues across the UK and internationally, including The Southbank Centre and The Whitechapel Gallery in London, The National Museum of Singapore, Neubacher Shor Contemporary in Toronto and was featured at the 2013 TEDx AshokaU exchange, San Diego.

Her work has been published by The Guardian, The Economist, The Independent and BBC World News. She has won and been shortlisted for numerous grants and prizes, recently winning the Magenta Flash Forward 2014 award for emerging photographers.

Kajal was recently selected as a Magenta Flash Forward 2013 winner.

In January 2012, Kajal was honoured as the recipient for Gammelgaard Monochrome Photography prize fund, for LIGHTSEEKERS; a cross-cultural, participatory photography project she began in 2007.

Lecturer Statement:  “I work as a photographer between the UK and India. Since 2006, I have documented the British South Asian experience, concentrating on issues around cultural conflict and bereavement, assimilation and the formation of new identities.

My current work documents the decline of textiles manufacturing in Leicester. My mother experience of working in hosiery and garment factories on her arrival to Britain heightened my interest in this subject further. She was employed within Leicestershire burgeoning clothing industry during the 1970, up until the period of industrial decline when mass manufacturing was shifting to China and India.

Whilst my mother was a skilled artisan, she was classed as an immigrant or simple factory worker. My work aims to reveal the sites of labour and the people whose lives are transformed through these changes. More recently, I have been researching colonial and postcolonial histories of the British Raj and its legacy of Indian economic trade”.

Although this event is free you will need to book a place.

Image@Kajal Nisha Patel

Women in Photography – Westminster – 13 June 2015, 1030 – 1600

Monica Allende is the picture editor of The Sunday Times Magazine. She was part of the team that founded Spectrum, a section dedicated to photography from around the world and over the past two years has continued to develop and edit it. Monica will be giving an illustrated talk on a number of significant female photographers whose work she has published. She will also address the reasons why she would commission a female photographer for a particular story or angle and what qualities she looks for when selecting a photographer in general. Other areas of discussion will include; the risks and opportunities women face and what the future looks like for print and online photograph. After graduating with a political-science degree from the University of London, Allende worked as picture editor for several book publishers before moving into newspapers – The Independent, followed by The Sunday Times. She was recently commissioned by CAM to curate an exhibition about the Darfur conflict, which is currently being shown in Spain.

Alixandra Fazzina, UK, 1974 Alixandra Fazzina’s photography focuses on under-reported conflicts and the often forgotten humanitarian consequences of war. Alixandra is the author of “A Million Shillings- Escape From Somalia” (Trolley) which follows the often deadly journey on people smuggling routes from the Horn of Africa. Her current long-term project The Flowers of Afghanistan, documents the journeys of Afghan children seeking refuge in Europe.

Studying Fine Art, she began her career as a war artist in Bosnia. Since then, she has worked independently as a photojournalist throughout Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. In 2010 Alixandra was recognised as the winner of the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award for her fearless and tireless dedication to humanitarian photography throughout her career.

Gina Glover will explore her latest touring exhibition and book The Metabolic Landscape, initiated with Geof Rayner and Jessica Rayner (The Metabolic Landscape: Perception, Practice and the Energy Transition,Black Dog Publishing, December 2014) The project looks to the experiential understanding of the changing environment of which we ourselves are part. This  project makes the case that art might achieve what science fails to do, to communicate feelings and sensibilities about a world under threat because of human activity and the need for a response. In this work she focuses on sites of energy in different parts of the world and she observes climatic effects, from glacial melting and iceberg formation in Greenland to coastal erosion in England.

Gina Glover was born in London and lives and works in England and France. She is an alumnus of the Polytechnic of Central London (now the University of Westminster) She is a co-founder and director of Photofusion Photography Centre London. In 2008 Gina received the Royal Photographic Society’s Hood Medal and she is twice winner of the Medical Research Council Visions of Science award. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows in Europe, China and the United States.

Eva Stenram Negatives, slides, magazines, images from the Internet and photographic prints are Stenram’s  source of inspiration as well as working material. These photographs are sometimes scanned, sometimes re-photographed, and subsequently changed  through digital, analogue or physical manipulation.  By muting and mutating her material, the original functions of the photographs are disrupted and often subverted.   Stenram has participated in numerous exhibitions worldwide and has recently had solo exhibitions at Siobhan Davies Dance (London, 2015), Panoptikon (Stockholm, 2014) and Open Eye Gallery (Liverpool, 2013), amongst others.


Women in Photography – Magda Rakita – Leeds – 8 October 2015 – 1500 – 1700

“God made woman then he jerked”, reads a mural on the streets of Monrovia, Liberia, a country mostly remembered for its fourteen-year civil war and, more recently, Ebola epidemic. As Liberia celebrated its 10th anniversary of peace in summer 2013, and with a woman occupying its highest political office, I was keen to explore the lived experience of a post-war generation of girls growing up among a war-scarred population.

While I specifically focused on girls living in West Point, one of Monrovia’s townships, it is important to bear in mind that the problems they face are typical for the majority of urban dwellers. Only 8% of Monrovians have access to piped water and 1% to the electricity grid. Using generators makes the cost of electricity one of the most expensive in the world according to the UN. Despite the presence of some high profile female figures in Liberian politics, the everyday realities and opportunities are very different for the majority of women. Relatively few girls are able to attend school as they find it difficult to reconcile their obligations towards their families with the demands of schooling. Many struggle to afford the obligatory school uniforms and registration fees despite education being (at least in theory) free.

Sexual and gender based violence remain major concerns, including in Liberia’s educational system, and it is not uncommon for students to be subject to sexual harassment when it comes to exchanging favours for grades. In 2013, all 25,000 candidates failed the entrance exam to the University of Liberia, prompting President Sirleaf to brand national education system as “a mess”. I hope this project might help shed light on the disproportionate burden of the aftermath of its civil war on women – one that, paradoxically, was fuelled by the very inequalities it now helps perpetuate. I would tell of their resilience and determination, as evident in the lives of these young girls as they fight to improve their prospects for the future. To understand the lived experience, and hopes, of a new generation of women is more critical today than ever before.

Magda Rakita (born 1976, Poland) became interested in photography and storytelling as a way of sharing her experiences as a passionate traveller. She subsequently gave up her career in finance and now mostly works with NGOs and aid agencies, as well as on self initiated documentary projects. Her projects tend to focus on social issues involving women, health, intimacy, and development, in such places as Liberia, Uganda and Russia. Aside from documentary photography, she engages others in participatory projects, and uses multimedia. She is represented by Sipa Press.   In 2013 she graduated with a distinction from the MA in Documentary Photography and Photojournalism at London College of Communication. She is based in Cambridge, UK.

Image@Magda Rakita

Women in Photography – Emily Macinnes – Nottingham – 12 November 2015 – 1730 – 1900

Emily Macinnes (b. 1989) is a Scottish documentary photographer currently based between the US and the UK. Since beginning her studies at Nottingham Trent University in 2009 she has worked with various NGOs and non-profit organisations both at home and overseas. Some of her clients include UNICEF UK, OXFAM and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

Since graduating in 2012 she has also worked extensively on independent projects including portraits and transcripts of male survivors of childhood sexual abuse; a series of portraits of Scottish young carers and a photo essay documenting a holistic drug-rehabilitation centre for children in Colombia – among others. What unites her work is the interest in peoples’ stories and a desire to creatively communicate the intimate and emotional aspects of the issues she documents.

In 2010 Emily won the Photophilanthropy Activist Awards ‘Student Grand Prize’ for her photo essay ‘Issah’s Story’. In 2012 she won the Signature Art Prize for Photography and the following year selected as winner of the Oxfam Photography Prize for Women in conjunction with IdeasTap and Magnum. She has also exhibited in group exhibitions in the UK, New York and most recently in Lausanne, Switzerland at Musée de L’Elysée (Regeneration3).

Image@Emily Macinnes

Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website—— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: