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Women Photographers unite for climate crisis

Feminist photography group, Women Photographers Australia, has debuted by launching #everydayclimatecrisis Visual Petition, a call for female photographers to submit 1000 pictures exploring Australia’s climate crisis, to be presented to the Federal Government before the next election.

Queanbeyan NSW by Canberra-based photographer, Lib Ferreira. Part of the ‘#everydayclimatecrisis Visual Petition.

The project is headed by Canberra-based professional photographer, Hilary Wardhaugh, who is calling for images that not only show the negative impact of the climate crisis, but also ‘those that illustrate the beauty of the land we live on, cultural practices to enhance and regenerate the lands and hope generated by photos of humans doing great things to repair damage’.

‘I started this project because, instead of feeling helpless about climate crisis we face, I wanted to do something,’ Hilary explains. ‘So, I started to crowd source images from a diverse community of women and non-binary photographers in Australia and currently over 400 images have been received. Drawing from the old adage that “a picture is worth a 1000 words”, the aim is to get 1000 images which metaphorically equates to 1,000,000 words. And collectively having 1000 images responding to the climate crisis, from women all over Australia, will become a powerful feminist document!’

Murray Darling River by photojournalist, Louise Whelan.
Murray Darling River by photojournalist, Louise Whelan.

So far #everydayclimatecrisis has about 400 pictures from emerging, hobbyist, and professional female photographers. Pictures range from photos of devastating bushfire damage and regeneration, beach erosion, climate protests, portraits, and abstract photography.

‘The document will be memorialising this moment in time and with the hope that it will become part of the national collection at the National Library of Australia.’

Hilary states there are three aims. Firstly, to have a printed and digital record of this moment as documented by women; second is to elevate women photographers, who still have lesser representation in the arts as men; and lastly to provide a set of demands, as collected from the photographers.

‘The #everydayclimatecrisis Visual Petition needs to be more than a symbolic handover of 1000 diverse images. It will come with individuals’ demands and be on public record,’ Hilary states. ‘If we can have our Prime Minister waving our petition around in Question Time rather than a lump of coal and that action being recorded in Hansard [the record of parliamentary debates].’

No Planet B by Melbourne photographer, Emma Yench.

the #everydayclimatecrisis Visual Petition will officially launch at a PhotoAccess ‘Women See Change event on Thursday, February 10, at the Manuka Arts Centre. The launch coincides with the ANU Institute for Climate, Energy & Disaster Solutions ‘Climate Update’, and Women See Change will include a panel session with Hilary; founder of Women’s Climate Congress, Dr Janet Salisbury; photojournalist, Tracey Nearmy; fine art photographer, Dr Judith Nangala Crispin, and journalist, Adrienne Francis.

As stated, this is the first project for Women Photographers Australia, a for-profit social enterprise founded by Hilary which aims to ‘be a collective of women and non-binary people who use their photographic skills to advocate for change using our creative image-making skills’. Click here for more info.

2 Comments

  1. Pamela Thomas Pamela Thomas January 24, 2022

    What a wonderful initiative. Are you currently accepting submissions to the Petition Project? I have some work from 2020 which could be considered.

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