How can photography capture change? Creatives explore for the inaugural V&A prize

‘Agents of Change’ is the theme of V&A’s inaugural Parasol Foundation Prize for Women in Photography, which seeks to identify, support and champion women in the field in partnership with Peckham 24. The projects submitted capture political and societal instability, but also interrogate photography’s capacity to capture these shifts and create further evolution. Staged imagery, archival exploration and autobiographical documentation are among the routes taken by the winning photographers. A total of five winners were chosen by the prize selection committee, which included the likes of Ronan Mckenzie and Vivienne Gamble, co-founder of Peckham 24.

Berlin-based Ukrainian photographer Anya Tsaruk features in the winning selection for her series Motherland; the images offer an autobiographical example of how families have been affected by the war in Ukraine. Equally tender but more stark in composition is As You Grow Older by the Hà Nội-based photographer Vân-Nhi Nguyễn, which uses the typical family photo album as a jump off point to explore individuals’ behavior in intimate, personal spaces.

Meanwhile, Iranian American photographer Gohar Dashti shows those displaced in Iran by capturing overgrown places. Other winners include Cynthia MaiWa Sitei, whose 2019 project Spear of a Nation responds critically to the colonial archive of British social anthropologist Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard, investigating the legacy of colonialism. Priyadarshini Ravichandran’s Surge was also chosen by the panel for its exploration of the complexity of familial connections.

Audiences can see the winning works at the not-for-profit three-day festival Peckham 24, opening 12 May 2023.

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