From the Fringes to the Frontline- Reading Response

The Guardian article by Melanie Abrams deals with the patriarchal views of war photography and profiles some female war photographers in order to challenge the usual view of war photography as a male only. Even though more and more female war photographers are appearing more and more, the field is still largely male dominated with only seven of 79 working at the Magnum photo agency being female.

Women photographers such as Jenny Matthews discuss not being taken as seriously as men but that having some advantage. Matthews said that while she was in Afghanistan in 1988 that “Even though the secret service was on our case, we were not taken seriously because we were women. It helped us get around and get our story.” The women in the article cite the experience of being a woman as sometimes being an obstacle but also that they were perceived as less threatening and used this to their advantage to capture inside shots. Photographer Susan Meiselas who covered the Nicaraguan civil war says that often people criticize female photographers for bringing in emotion into the work but that this is not necessarily a bad thing. “it was important to balance and feel the emotion. I was interested in multiple perspectives. The ethos of objectivity is an illusion.”

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