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5 Contemporary Heroines to celebrate this Pride Month

By 9th June 2022June 30th, 2022No Comments

Anita Khemka

Aside from her work in self portraiture and with archival materials, Anita Khemka is perhaps best known for her widely acclaimed work with the hijra community in India. As depicted in the German film Between the Lines – India’s Third Gender (2005), Anita followed the lives of  three hijras, entering their ‘vibrant yet struggling’ communities.

One of these hijra, the transgender / hijra rights activist and motivational speaker Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, has become Anita’s long-term collaborator. Anita’s latest exhibition, Laxmi, The Third Gender In India, is currently on display at Musée Des Arts Asiatiques in Nice, France.

 ‘I see myself as a chronicler of Laxmi and by extension, the position of Hijras in our society. Laxmi presents a microcosm of the changes in the social and political structure of our nation. I believe Laxmi is at the midpoint of a cycle at the moment and her journey so far needs to be seen to understand the future of both her and our nation’. – Anita Khekma

Catherine Opie

Catherine Opie is an American fine-art photographer and educator. Her work frequently explores the relationship between people and place.

Some of Catherine’s most critically discussed works include Being and Having, produced with members of the lesbian, queer and BDSM community in Los Angeles, and Domestic, the culmination of a two-month road trip across the United States documenting the life of lesbian families.

Aside from her revered portrait series, Catherine has produced landscape images which capture a diversity of terrain across her native U.S. Most recently, The Current (Vermont) staged a solo exhibition of her work which ‘investigate[d] the parallels between natural and political landscapes, and their connections to identity and community.’

Hinda Schuman 

Hinda Schuman is an American photographer who mainly creates long-form documentary projects. Her autobiographical work Dear Shirley (2018), comprises the story of her divorce from a heterosexual marriage in 1981, her coming out as a lesbian, and her relationship with her wife Susan Toler. The work mixes intimate photography with handwritten text, culminating in a multifaceted and sensitive portrayal of complex relationships.

In many of her other series, Hinda takes inspiration from her volunteering work. In Done Doing Time and Halfway Home, she investigates the experiences of incarcerated women and their return home following release.

Ingrid Pollard

Ingrid Pollard is an award winning artist who uses different photographic processes alongside printmaking, installation, video, and audio to shed new light on important subjects. Associated with Autograph, the Association of Black Photographers, Ingrid lives and works in London.

Her recent solo exhibition No Cover Up, which followed a residency in 2019, revealed Ingrid’s responses to the materials held in the Lesbian Archive at Glasgow Women’s Library. While exploring a microcosm of the women’s liberation movement across history, the work echoes the materiality of the library itself, highlighting the interconnectivity of the materials.

‘[…] a leading feminist photographer, Ingrid’s work provides a powerful means of continuing the conversation [about LGBT culture and history].’ – Tamsin MacLaughlan

Paola Paredes

Paola Paredes is an Ecuadorian photographer whose work is centred around the experiences of the LGBT community. Through extensively researched and often highly personal projects, Paola illustrates complex interactions between sexuality and culture while raising awareness of injustice.

Her most recent project, Skin Deep, is an interactive photographic experience which presents fifteen stories, representing the diverse sexualities and gender identities of the queer community in Ecuador. Inviting viewers to literally ‘peel’ away sections of the image to reveal hidden narratives, Paola initiates an immersive empathy between her participants and the audience.