Shortlist 2023 / Parasol Foundation Prize for Women in Photography

February 28, 2023

We are delighted to announce the shortlist of the inaugural Parasol Foundation Prize for Women in Photography. The prize celebrates the outstanding talent of women photographers and provides a powerful platform to showcase the work of innovative artists working in the field of contemporary photography.

These ten artists represent a diverse range of photographic approaches, and innovative interpretations of the Prize theme, ‘Agents of Change’, which celebrates the place photography holds in documenting, celebrating and effecting change.

A woman reclines on a bed
Untitled, 2023. Vân-Nhi Nguyễn

Vân-Nhi Nguyễn is a Vietnamese photographer and designer based in Hà Nội, Việt Nam. Her work is concerned with the reconstruction of collective memory – be it that of her own identity or of the larger community – and its relationship to contemporary society. Her ongoing project, ‘As You Grow Older’, takes the familiar shape of a family photo album and features portraits in which each individual is presented in their own space.

A crop of grains inside a white building
Untitled #4, from the series Home, 2017. Gohar Dashti

Iranian American photographer and video artist Gohar Dashti lives and works in Tehran. Her native country is a dominant feature in her work, with particular focus on its topography, socio-geography, and history of violence. In ‘Home Series’, Dashti documents the places ‘left behind’ in Iran; evidence of those displaced by years of conflict.

Two women in a locker room
KAYB & Brooklyn from the series Atlanta Made Us Famous, 2018. Hajar Benjida

Hajar Benjida is a Dutch-Moroccan visual artist based in New York. Her work often centres around hip-hop music; from photographing some of the scene’s most famous artists, to capturing lesser-known stories of women in the industry and the impactful roles they occupy. In her series ‘Atlanta Made Us Famous’, Benjida collaborates with the dancers of the legendary Magic City in Atlanta, a crucial launch pad for numerous rappers’ careers.

Close-up of a piece of twisted wire
Surge, 2019. Priyadarshini Ravichandran

Priyadarshini Ravichandran is an Indian photographer whose work is connected with lived experience, including stories of women, their lives and the land. ‘Surge’ is a poetic and personal exploration revealing the complexity of familial relationships.

Two overlayed-images of people with a blue tint
Somebody Stop Me, ego death, 2022. Heather Agyepong

British Ghanaian visual artist, performer, actor and maker Heather Agyepong lives and works in London. Her practice is concerned with mental health, wellbeing, invisibility, the diaspora and the archive. ‘Ego Death’ is inspired by Carl Jung’s psychiatric concept of the shadow.

A couple embracing
Bo & Silke, 2021. Sarah Mei Herman

Sarah Mei Herman is a Dutch visual artist and photographer whose practice examines the relationships and intimacy, particularly between families and young people. Her recent series ‘Solace’ documents the LGBTQ+ communities of Xiamen, China. Photographed in their personal surroundings, the photographs are accompanied by interviews about love, life and fears. Two years after the trip, and unable to return to China due to the pandemic, Mei Herman turns her lens on the Queer Chinese community of the Netherlands, Düsseldorf and Paris.

A school pupil in front of a cascade of flowers
Portrait of Michealle Naeku (12 years), from the series ‘The Right To Play’, 2022. Lee-Ann Olwage

Lee-Ann Olwage is a visual storyteller and photographic artist from South Africa who uses collaborative storytelling to explore themes relating to gender and identity. In ‘The Right To Play’, Olwage works with the non-profit organisation Kakenya’s Dream to collaborate with school girls who have avoided FGM and child marriage.

Two people on a journey, one sleeping
Mother Land, 2022. Anya Tsaruk

Anya Tsaruk is a Ukrainian photographer based in Berlin. Her artistic approach focused initially on documentary and street photography, but evolved in the past year to expose the realities of war in Ukraine and its consequences. Her series ‘Mother Land’ is an autobiographical example of how families have been affected by the war.

A youth standing in water against a mountainous background
Earl, Three Cliffs Bay, Swansea. spear of a nation, 2021. Cynthia MaiWa Sitei

Cynthia MaiWa Sitei is a Kenyan British visual artist and curator whose work is heavily influenced by the culture of storytelling. She integrates photography, text and the archive to explore themes such as stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. Responding to the colonial archive of British social anthropologist Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard, ‘spear of a nation’ embarks on its own expedition to critically reflect on acculturation and assimilation, and the legacy of colonialism.

A group of students fully clothed but exciting the sea
Kijini Primary School students walk to shore after their lesson in the Indian Ocean off of Muyuni, Zanzibar. Anna Boyiazis

Anna Boyiazis is an American documentary photographer based between Southern California and East Africa. Her photographic interests focus on human rights, public health, and women and girls’ issues. ‘Finding Freedom in the Water’ documents the impact of water and the sea on daily life in the Zanzibar Archipelago.

Five of these artists will be chosen to exhibit their work at Peckham 24, opening Friday 12 May 2023. The winners’ announcement will be made in mid-March.

The winners will be selected by a panel of selectors co-chaired by Fiona Rogers, the inaugural Parasol Foundation Curator of Women in Photography at the V&A, and Vivienne Gamble, co-founder of Peckham 24 and Director of Seen Fifteen gallery, London. They will be joined by Lesley A. Martin, Creative Director of Aperture; Ronan Mckenzie, photographer, curator and founder of Black-owned artist space HOME; and Turner nominated multi-media artist and lecturer Ingrid Pollard.

1 comment so far, view or add yours


An interesting and very thought provoking theme, it captured my interest immediately.
Good luck.

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