Top 100 women in photography: RPS names its Hundred Heroines

Nan Goldin
(Image credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The Royal Photographic Society has just announced their list of Hundred Heroines, women from across the world whose work is transforming photography today.

These female photographers, who were nominated online (anyone was allowed to make a nomination), have inspired and challenged others, highlighted particular issues or shown bravery or courage through their image-making. The final list has been whittled down from some 1,300 nominations from members of the public.

Why 100 Heroines?

The date marks one hundred years to the day since some British women first voted in a general election.

Hundred heroines, and in turn the RPS, are celebrating this key centenary and the significant contribution women are making globally to photography.

Who's made the list?

The heroines includes well-known names such as Nan Goldin (pictured above), Britta Jaschinski, Sophie Calle, Rineke Dijkstra, Susan Meiselas, and Hannah Starkey, as well as photographers such as Wendy Red Star and Moscow based photographer, Oksana Yushko, whose works aren't so widely recognised, particularly in the UK.

An exhibition and accompanying publication will follow and each of the heroines will soon be awarded a medal minted specifically for the project – the Margaret Harker medal (Margaret Harker (1920 – 2013) was the first female president of The RPS and the first female professor of photography in the UK).

Britta Jaschinski made the list of 100. Her shot here shows Elephant feet, turned foot stools, confiscated in the US. She is the founder of Photographers Against Wildlife Crime

Britta Jaschinski made the list of 100. Her shot here shows Elephant feet, turned foot stools, confiscated in the US. She is the founder of Photographers Against Wildlife Crime

(Image credit: Britta Jaschinski)

From the series The New Colonists, 2017, by Monica Alcazar-Duarte

From the series The New Colonists, 2017, by Monica Alcazar-Duarte

(Image credit: Monica Alcazar-Duarte)

“We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the positive response to the campaign. It’s been a roller-coaster of emotions reading the stories of heartbreak, hurt and hope and we’ve been moved by the extraordinary lengths women will go to in order to highlight the plight of others.”

Del Barratt, Vice president, RPS

Historic heroines

In addition to contemporary heroines the campaign received hundreds of nominations for those women no longer with us, whose work has been vitally important to photography as it exists today. 

This campaign will continue in 2019 with a focus on historical heroines, when the list will be put to public vote.

Orange Event, part 4, 2017, from the series Règle du jeu, by Elina Brotherus

Orange Event, part 4, 2017, from the series Règle du jeu, by Elina Brotherus

(Image credit: Elina Brotherus)

“What a wonderful way to mark the centenary of women’s suffrage. If my grandmother and great-grandmother were able to come back and look at the world today, I think they would be heartened by much of the progress in women’s rights. However, they would also be spurring us on, highlighting how much we still have to do – given ongoing levels of gender inequality in almost all spheres – including in the world of photography.”

Helen Pankhurst

Find out more about RPS Hundred Heroines

Through this initiative, The RPS wants to redefine the status of women in contemporary photography, allowing talents that may otherwise have been overlooked to emerge. 

For more details of the campaign and the 100 photographers visit www.rps100heroines.org

Hundred Heroines:  full list of 100 female photographers

Adama Delphine Fawundu & Laylah Amatullah Barrayn

Aida MulunehAlix Marie

Anastasia Taylor Lind

Aneta Grzeszykowska

Anne HardyAnnegret SoltauBritta Jaschinski

Carrie Mae Weems

Chloe Dewe Mathews

Clare Strand

Clementine Schneidermann

Collier Schorr

Cristina de Middel

Daesha Devon Harris

Dana Lixenberg

Dana Popa

Dayanita Singh

Dragana Jurisic

Elina Brotherus

Ellen Carey

Eva Stenra

Evgenia Arbugaeva

Fatma Bucak

Gillian Wearing

Gohar Dashti

Graciela Iturbide

Hannah Collins

Hannah Reyes Morales

Hannah Starkey

Heather Agyepong

Helen Sear

Helene BinetIndre Serpytyte

Isadora Kosofsky

Jane Hilton

Jenevieve Aken

Jillian Edelstein

Joana Choumali

Jodi Bieber

Josephine PrydeJoy Gregory

Katy Grannan

Laia Abril

Lalla Essaydi

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Laura El-Tantway

Lise Sarfati

Lorna Simpson

Lua Ribeira

Marcia Michael

Mari Bastashevski

Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons

Marianne Mueller

Martha Rosler

Mitra Tabrizian

Miyako Ishiuchi

Monica Alcazar-Duarte

Nan Goldin

Natasha Caruana

Newsha Tavakolian

Noemi Goudal

Oksana Yushko

ORLAN

Paola Paredes

Pixy Liao

Rahima Gambo

Rena Effendi

Renate Bertlmann

Rineke Dijkstra

Rinko Kawauchi

Sarah Jones

Shirin Neshat

Sian Davey

Sonja Hamad

Sophie Calle

Susan Derges

Susan Lipper

Susan Meiselas

Tacita Dean

Taryn Simon

Tereza Zelenkova

Tracey Moffatt

Trish Morrissey

Ursula Schulz-Dornburg

Valerie Belin

VALIE EXPORT

Vanessa Winship

Viviane Sassen

Wendy Ewald

Wendy McMurdo

Wendy Red Star

Yagazie Emezi

Yan Wang Preston

Yto Barrada

Yushi Li

Zanele Muholi

Zarina Bhimji

Zineb Sedira

Zoe Leonard

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