A Woman's Work

About the Project

Women’s role in industry and technology-based work in post-war Europe is a hitherto untold story, and audiovisual archives have tended to focus on male-orientated ‘heavy industries’ such as coal, iron and steel, or large scale engineering sectors such as shipbuilding, construction, aerospace and car manufacturing. Yet women continue to play a key role in many manufacturing and service industries – for example, textiles, electronics, food and drinks, plastics and pharmaceuticals – a reality which is neither acknowledged nor strongly represented in European cultural archives.

A Woman’s Work is a project that uses photography and digital media to address that deficit through artistic collaboration and exchange across borders, and the co-production of exhibitions, publications and online resources that challenge the dominant view of gender and industry in Europe. The project explores the shifting relationship between home and the workplace, and growth sectors such as the finance industry, media and telecommunications, where women’s work is being re-defined through technological developments and post-globalism.

A Women’s Work is a 24 month collaborative programme, funded by Creative Europe, in which cultural partners in the United Kingdom, Lithuania, Ireland, France, Finland and Germany will work together in pursuit of the following objectives:

  • to enable artists and cultural professionals from across Europe to cooperate around the making and presentation to audiences of new work focusing on the changing face of women and work in Europe, with a sharing of professional experience and practice using both physical and online platforms
  • to create new opportunities for artistic exchange within Europe, increasing the mobility of artists and cultural professionals, utilising our respective networks and contacts to extend audience reach and the impact
  • to use the European Prospects digital platform to present the project to a global audience, in order to stimulate discussion which challenges the dominant view of gender and industry in Europe, and to encourage and support further transnational co-operation beyond the life of the project

Following an inaugural planning workshop in Kaunas, Lithuania, in October 2018, an open call for proposals was launched and 20 artist projects were selected by the partners to be featured on the online platform and in exhibitions and publications. These are:

During 2019/2020 a series of artist and curator commissions/residencies are being undertaken, hosted by the partners, and the first A Woman’s Work symposium was held in Cardiff in April 2019. A summary of this event is available here.


Ffotogallery (Cardiff, Wales)

Established in 1978, Ffotogallery is the national development agency for photography and lens-based media in Wales. Our view is outward looking, with an exhibition programme featuring artists from Wales and the rest of the world. Ffotogallery seeks to widen its impact and influence through touring exhibitions, collaborations with other organisations and galleries, print and online publishing and an extensive education and outreach programme. We initiated and continue to run the biennial Diffusion: Cardiff International Festival of Photography. Ffotogallery has an active policy of commissioning new work which, in particular, provides a vital support system to photographers and lens-based artists in Wales, forms an on-going record of culture in Wales, and reflects prevailing attitudes and developments in photography more generally.

Lithuanian Photography Artists' Union (Kaunas, Lithuania)

Established in 1933 and renamed The Union of Lithuanian Art Photographers in 1989 (now referring to itself as the Lithuanian Photographers Association), the organisation arranges photography exhibitions, seminars, and activities to support photographers, particularly encouraging a younger generation of photographers to continue the tradition of Lithuanian photography. Kaunas Photography Gallery is situated in the heart of medieval Kaunas Old Town. The gallery is one of the largest and most important art exhibition places in Lithuania and the Baltic States, dedicated to photography and contemporary art. This non-profit space presents innovative contemporary projects as well as traditional photography exhibitions. The organisation is affiliated with Kaunas Photo Festival, an annual international event.

Gallery of Photography (Dublin, Ireland)

Established in 1978, the Gallery of Photography is the national centre for contemporary photography in Ireland. It is located in an award-winning building in Temple Bar in Dublin’s city centre. The gallery’s programme of curated exhibitions showcases work from established and emerging Irish and international artists. The organisation also provides darkrooms and a fully equipped digital studio, where exhibition-quality prints and scans may be produced to the highest specifications. The Gallery also runs photography courses, masterclasses and workshops and is home to Ireland’s leading photo bookshop.

Gallery of Photography Ireland is a not-for-profit organisation supported by the Arts Council and Dublin City Council.

Le Château d’Eau (Toulouse, France)

The French photographer Jean Dieuzaide founded the non-profit organization Le Château d’Eau - a former water tower now turned into one of the major photographic centres in France - in 1974. Le Château d’Eau became internationally recognized for exhibiting works by prestigious artists such as Lee Friedlander, Walker Evans, Edward Weston, Robert Doisneau, Brassaï and Cartier-Bresson. With a selection of works from both renowned and emerging artists Le Château d’Eau is a place of production and distribution: exhibitions, book publishing, mediation and resource centre. Ten to twelve exhibitions are presented each year, many of international importance. Based on its experience and its special relationship with different artists, Le Château d’Eau is a cultural actor in Europe constantly seeking new creative partnerships.

Whack 'n' Bite (Finland)

Whack ´n` Bite is a recently established collective with two founding members (curator Tuula Alajoki and visual artist / designer Johanna Havimäki) from Finland. Like a visual band Whack ´n´ Bite welcomes featuring artists and colleagues for collaborations around and about photographic expression. Both Alajoki and Havimäki have background in visual arts with experience in content development, art production and international collaborations. 2012–2018 Alajoki was the director of the international photography triennial Backlight Photo Festival. Whack ´n´ Bite participates in curatorial responsibilities as well as in visual solutions with the organising partners, with the aim to create a northern reach to A Woman´s Work.

Fotosommer Stuttgart e.V. (Germany)

Fotosommer Stuttgart is a non-profit association for the promotion of contemporary photography. Fotosommer organises a triennial international festival of photography in Stuttgart, including focal exhibitions, a competitive photography awards programme, as well as accompanying events across the city. These include photographic exhibitions, workshops, lectures, discussions, information sessions, guided tours and a forum. Fotosommer is one of the largest photography events in Germany and achieves high levels of participation from artists across Europe. During non-festival years Fotosommer organises a range of exhibitions, workshops and projects.