Zanele Muholi. Somnyama Ngonyama, 2015. Photography. © Zanele Muholi. Courtesy Yancey Richardson Gallery.

Izumi Miyazaki. Sandwich, 2013. Photography. © Izumi Miyazaki. Courtesy Wild Project Gallery & Off Shot.

Lourdes Grobet. La Venus, 1981-1982. Series La doble lucha (The double struggle), 1981-2005. Photography. 91/2 × 14 in. © Lourdes Grobet. Courtesy of the artist. Collection of Lourdes Grobet.

*Image Skewed: Anna Fox. Back to the Village, Hampshire Village Pram Race, 1999-2008. Photography. Matt light jet print archival. 28.95 x 28.95 in. © Anna Fox. Courtesy The Hyman Collection.

Fast Forward Manifesto

WOPHA / 03.16.2020

Fast Forward. A Manifesto for Increased Involvement of Women in Photography.

We are inspired by women in photography and we are passionate about asserting their place in our art history narratives.

We define photography as any creative cultural activity that takes place both inside and outside of established arts organisations and institutions – that might include photography, moving image, performance, installation, curation and writing with the widest possible public participation on both a local and national level.

We define women by any person of any race, creed or colour identifying as female.


  • Women photographers play a vital role in our community and yet their stories are frequently hidden, lost or dismissed.
  • Photography is known as a democratic medium and involvement with and enjoyment from the photographic arts is a fundamental human right. Lives are enriched by experiences in photography bringing democracy and equality to society when everyone has a right to take part.
  • That women artists and photographers contribute to the emancipation of all members of the diverse community despite their gender or sexuality and to striving for equality in a democratic society.


  1. A step change for all arts organisations and institutions to commit to exhibiting, commissioning, publishing and collecting at least 50% women’s work.
  2. Inclusivity leading to all arts events and activities to address a minimum of 50% of women’s interests and stories.
  3. The education system to recognise and value women artists and photographers, and the role they play in society, in their curricula at every level of the system and to provide equal opportunities for female artists and photographers to take part and enrich their curricula.
  4. A more significant encouragement for women to be involved in photography as practioners, as participants and as audiences as part of government policy.
  5. The introduction of an arts and cultural strategy for women in all local and national planning that includes an emphasis on the value of photography.
  6. An innovative and robust approach to financing with key government organisations such as the Arts Council as well as local arts councils being involved in the planning of events and activities that deliberately include women artists and photographers and female audiences.
  7. For governments, local and national, to play an active enabling role in both pushing forward innovative ideas and finding ways to fund projects that involve and include women as photographers, artists, writers, curators and audiences.
  8. A group of sector leaders including the Fast Forward research group to work together to affect change for women photographers and audiences in all aspects of our society.

WOPHA support and endorse the Fast Forward Manifesto for increased involvement of women in photography through a commitment to:

  • Research and recover primary-source material and critical documents related to womxn and photography for the benefit of artists, researchers, scholars, and curious members of the general public.
  • Provide access to and make available for download WOPHA resources for personal and educational purposes, as well as extend reference services to both institutions and individuals to assist with long-term studies.
  • Organize scholarly symposiums and lectures to share and discuss innovative scholarship on womxn and photography.
  • Highlight certain key themes by curating physical and digital exhibitions while inviting emerging photographers to present their projects on WOPHA Instagram and Facebook accounts.
  • Support womxn photographers through prizes, artist residency programs, and other opportunities in partnership with different organizations.
  • Develop community projects exploring opportunities to provoke social change through photography.
  • Provide electronic resources to schools and the public through catalogs and video-documented conferences.
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