Raphaela Rosella wins Women Photographers’ Grant

Australian documentary photographer, Raphaela Rosella, has won the first £5000 ($8732) Photographic Museum of History (PHMuseum) Women Photographers’ Grant for her ongoing project, You’ll Know It When You Feel It.

From ‘You’ll Know It When You Feel It’. Photo: Raphaela Rosella.

Rosella, a photographer from Nimbin, northern NSW, has spent over a decade documenting Australian women grappling with the challenges of motherhood, social disadvantage, bureaucracy, and turbulent relationships. She says her project attempts to show the complex and cyclical nature of these themes, while acknowledging the resilience of the young women living the experience.

‘Raphaela Rosella’s work is at once breathtakingly intimate and universal in its subject matter,’ said Daniella Zalcman, a photographer and judge of the 2017 Women Photographers’ Grant. ‘Her photographs are poetic interpretations of complicated realities – she tackles some of the most difficult issues that can consume the human experience, and always does so with dignity and empathy.

‘Much of her work focuses on young women caught in cycles of poverty and social disadvantage, but her portrayals of motherhood, incarceration, and domestic violence are always dignified and nuanced. You’ll Know It When You Feel It feels rooted in a fundamental desire to understand members of her family and her immediate community – and to allow her audience to see these individuals in the same empathetic light.’

From ‘You’ll Know It When You Feel It’. Photo: Raphaela Rosella.

PHmuseum is a London-based online contemporary photo gallery, which runs annual grant-based contests with significant cash prizes.

This new annual grant was only open to women photographers, with the aim to empower their work and careers.

Second prize, worth £2000 ($3500), went to Egyptian photographer Heba Khamis, for her project Banned Beauty which explores ‘breast ironing’ in Cameroon.

Kamini Tontines, 12-years old, is hiding her breasts after having them ironed by her mother. As a way of protection, when the girl’s breasts start to develop the mother or the grandmother heat a stone and massage the breasts to melt the fats, making them disappear. This is to stop men being enticed by them. Photo: Heba Khamis.


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