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Women Behind The Lens
Place & Space



1. a particular position, point, or area in space; a location:

2. a portion of space designated or available for or being used by someone:

3. a position in a sequence or series, typically one ordered on the basis of merit


1. put in a particular position:

2. find a home or employment for.



1. a continuous area or expanse which is free, available, or unoccupied:

2. the dimensions of height, depth, and width within which all things exist and move

3. an interval of time (often used to suggest that the time is short considering what has happened or been achieved in it)


1. position (two or more items) at a distance from one another.

This year’s AIS theme of Place & Space has been inspired by last year’s theme ‘Migration’, during which representations of places and spaces began to emerge, with entries from women discussing the movement of people across locations, including people who have been displaced, to those living in areas where there has been migration from other communities.  We became curious about seeing more work that delved into this intriguing theme. During the last few years, against the backdrop of the pandemic, our notions of place and space have shifted both personally and globally. This year’s online exhibition provides an insight into what this theme means to the artists featured, and in turn, asks us to consider the spaces we are navigating within our own lives, how we occupy these, and how our own perceptions of place are constantly forming and reforming. We’re excited to have received over 200 submissions, from over 50 countries for our third AIS Open Call. Our Jury shortlisted 20 artists, and the 5 finalists selected for this exhibition have been chosen for the innovative ways they’ve responded to and interpreted the theme. In The blue of the far distance, Emilia Martin explores light pollution and stargazing (or lack of) and the escapism it offers. Emilia’s images evoke a sense of surrealism, bringing a sense of collective calm, asking the viewers to lose themselves in a galaxy far away. Farzana Akhtar’s images document the gender based violence in Bangladesh. Over the past few decades, acid attacks have increased in Bangladesh and around the world, these violent acts are often revenge attacks against women. Most of the attacks take place at home or in a public place. The double exposed images juxtapose the portraits against public spaces, and question where are women safe?   Laura San Segundo explores the unconscious mind and the visions it creates, whilst sleeping or absent-minded, in The Circular Enclosure. Laura re-creates these visions, using archival imagery and images taken in Iceland. By using archival images and illusion, she implores the viewer to study the images closely.  The Banshee is about Marysa Dowling’s relationship with her mother and maternal Irish heritage. Her mother passed away shortly before Covid, and the work is a conversation between Marysa and her mother, as she reconnects to Ireland, her second home.  The conceptual series Inner Landscape by Leafy Yeh's work is shaped by Chinese ink paintings. The long-exposed landscapes connect the landscape and a woman’s inner self, forcing you to assess your relationship with nature. The images are beautifully created, inviting you to question whether they are photographs, or in fact, paintings?

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The Artists

Farzana Akhtar - Overall Winner

Emilia Martin

Marysa Dowling

Laura San Segundo

Leafy Yeh

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The Curator

Sebah Chaudhry

Sebah is a Freelance Creative Producer and Curator. She is experienced in working at international world class festivals, projects and events. She is Co-Founder and Co-Director of ReFramed, a photographic based visual arts network based in the Midlands, supporting the community and artists who are Black, Asian, or from other ethnic minorities. She is currently Project Coordinator of Picturing England’s High Streets, a Historic England funded project managed by Photoworks.

She was previously Creative Producer on an international British Council funded project with Ffotogallery, The Place I Call Home, connecting the UK to the Gulf region, culminating in 10 exhibitions from September 2019 — March 2020 in 7 countries.


From 2013 — 2017, Sebah was Coordinator at FORMAT Festival, the UK’s largest contemporary photography festival. She still works as a freelancer for FORMAT, organising the UK’s largest annual portfolio review. She also manages the Belfast Photo Festival Portfolio Review.

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Sebah reviews portfolios internationally and mentors artists. She is on the selection panel for the RPS IPE 163 Open Call and the BJP Portrait of Britain 2021. Currently UK editor for, Berlin, Steering Group member for FORMAT Festival, Derby and Board Member, Redeye Photography NetworkManchester. The first part of the selection process was undertaken by curator Sebah Chaudhry. The final awards were decided by a panel led by the curator and a panel composed of  judges who are experienced in the field of visual arts.

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The Jury

Joanne Junga Yang


Joanne Junga Yang is an artistic director, curator, juror, lecturer, portfolio
reviewer and writer in the field of photography, working within a wide range
Joanne is the artistic director of Korea International Photo Festival (KIPF) which
has been held at Hangaram Art Museum of Seoul Arts Center in Seoul, South
Korea since 2018, and is also the director and curator of Y&G Art Global
contemporary project, collaborating with galleries, magazines and private
museums on curating and collecting. She has organized and curated a variety of
exhibitions on contemporary art and photography, such as Dong Gang
International Photography Festival, Seoul Photo Festival and many more. She
received The Art and Culture Award for Curating of the Seoul Photo Festival
(2011) from the Seoul Metropolitan Government, and she was appointed as
Director of the International Committee by the Seoul Metropolitan City

Louise Fedotov-Clements

Louise has been the Artistic Director of QUAD since 2001, and the Director of FORMAT, which she co-founded in 2004. An independent curator since 1998 directing commissions, publications, performances and exhibitions.

Guest Curator for international exhibitions/festivals including Dong Gang (Yeongwol) South Korea; Photoquai Biennale Musée du quai Branly Paris; Les Rencontres Arles, Discoveries; Dali Photo, China; Poikkeustila 2020 Finland; Venice Biennale EM15; Photo Beijing, and LishuiPhoto China; Korea International Photo Festival. An international awards advisor, she has contributed to numerous publications as producer/writer/Editorial Team and a juror, portfolio reviewer, speaker in Europe, America, Africa & Asia.

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Anne Nwakalor


Anne Nwakalor is the Founding Editor of No! Wahala Magazine, one of Africa's first-ever contemporary photography magazine dedicated to showcasing authentic visual stories told by African creatives.

She is also a Photo Editor and presently works as a Communication Officer within the art space in the UK

Anshika Varma

Anshika Varma is a photographer and curator with an interest in personal, collective and mythical histories. Through her work in book making, she is interested in exploring the intricate relationship between memory and object as markers of one’s identity. She is the founder of Offset Projects, an artist initiative looking at exploring authorship and the democratic dissemination of artistic expression  through the book form to break notions of exclusivity in access and readings/ ownership of photography.

Anshikas’ curations and works have been shown at Goa Photo , Chennai Photo Biennale, Photo Kathmandu, Angkor Photo Festival, Tbilsi Night of Photography,Kochi Biennale, New York Biennale for Contemporary Art and Florence Biennial.

She is a strong believer in the power behind inclusive education and has conducted art therapy programs for children from challenging social and economic strata in Cambodia and India.


Amak Mahmoodian

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Amak's work questions notions of identity and home, bridging a space between personal and political. Through her journey she explores the effects of exile and distance on memory, dreams and daily life.

In 2015, she completed a practice-based doctorate in photography at the University of South Wales, having previously studied at the Art University of Tehran. Working with images, poems and archives she looks for the lyrical realities frames in the photographs. Amak has shown her work extensively and won numerous awards.

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