Friday, April 06, 2012

Celebrating women in photography

Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution” ~ Ansel Adams (American Photographer, February 20th 1902 ~ April 22nd 1984)

DushiYanthini Kanagasabapathipillai ~ participating photographer is invited first to light the specially designed oil lamp and inaugurate the exhibition

In Sri Lanka, Photography, a field which is still being dominated by men. Few women have taken up photography or photojournalism as their challenging career. It’s not a cake walk on a daily basis, but gives self ~ satisfaction. Mainly and mostly the women's talents are underestimated! Many questions are still asked when a woman proudly says SHE is a photographer or photojournalist. The questions including "Can you handle a professional camera?", "do you know how to use the lens?", "can you travel alone at night?", "can you travel to the North and East of Sri Lanka to cover the conflict?", "can you cover protests and riots?, "can you leave the comfort zone and live in a conflict zone?", "can you climb a tree or a building to take shots?", "can you live without your high heals?" "can you carry big back pack with equipments?" and "can you continue the same profession even after the marriage?". The answers for these questions are reflected on the photographs which were displayed at the recently held exhibition in Colombo.

Women and Media Collective has been supporting these talented women for the past 4 years since 2009. The exhibition was part of a series of events organised to celebrate International Women’s Day. Women and Media Collective has received over 200 photos, and through a tough selection process 86 photos were selected by the judges for the exhibition. 33 women photographers participated in the Women’s Photography Exhibition 2012. It was held at Lionel Wendt Gallery in Colombo from 23rd ~ 25 March 2012.The photography exhibition displayed the work of women, from professionals to amateurs, and featured a wide range of black and white to colour photography, from culture, nature, portraiture to wild life.

Featured Photographers of the Women's Photography Exhibition 2012 are as follows:~

• Gazala Anver
• Tehani Ariyaratne
• Azra Abdul Cader
• Anya Cooke
• Isuri Dayaratne
• Shayari De Silva
• Nathali Devinka
• Chathuri Dissanayake
• Nihara Fernando
• Anjali Gamage
• Indira Gonsalkorale
• Chami Gunasekere
• Charmalee Jayasinghe
• Velayudan Jayachithra
• DushiYanthini Kanagasabapathipillai
• Rushda Mohinudeen
• Aamina Nizar
• Piyumika Pathirana
• Niroshini Perera
• Poornima Perera
• Sachini Perera
• Thadchayini Pushpanathan
• Poongothai Ratnavadivel
• Shifani Reffai
• Rushika Silva
• Natalie Soysa
• Tanuja Thurairajah
• Caryll Tozer-Perera
• Roshanthi Weerawardena
• Bhagya Mandakini Wickramage
• Nayanatara Wijayanandana
• Chandanie Wanigathunge
• Sepali Kottegoda

Oil lamp is lit at the inauguration

Fresh Lotus flower petals along with fresh flower garland to decorate the venue

It is a rare opportunity for the women photographers to showcase their talents

86 photographs displayed at the exhibition

Space is shared by women from various walks of life

Trance Time ~ A male devotee gets into trance during a Hindu festival in Udappu, North West of Sri Lanka by DushiYanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Remember to Reconcile ~ A Tamil female folk arts student learns from a Sinhala folk artist from Kandy who visited Jaffna for the first time by DushiYanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Through HER Legs and Lens ~ During a fashion show in Colombo by DushiYanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Participating photographers are in conversation with the viewers

Camouflage ~ Palu trees provide ideal resting places for leopards. The leaves providing shade and camouflage by Charmalee Jayasinghe

Banner at the main entrance of the venue

Photographs by DushiYanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Invitees at the inauguration

An array of photographs are on display

Viewers at the venue

Senior journalist Lakshman Gunasekera is taking a closer look at the photographs

Faith and Beeralu by Roshanthi Weerawardena

An engrossed viewer at the exhibition

It’s encouraging to see women take photography seriously with creative approach” says Thiruvarangan