Photographer, David Pritchard's winning series allows Indigenous stock women to be heard

What can photojournalism offer to marginalised groups?

Sarah Tunstall
30th November 2021
Image Credit- National Portrait Gallery
Photographer, David Prichard wins this year’s Taylor Wessing Prize for his series of portraits of indigenous stock women from Australia.

His series captured those who spent most of their lives working at cattle stations in Northern Queensland, Australia. The Sydney based photographer said his ambition for the series was to highlight communities that are not documented in photography and art. The four women: Kurtijar women, Merna Beasley, Shirley Mary Ann McPherson and Gloria Campbell and Gkuthaarn woman Mildred Burns were interviewed alongside the portraits as a part of the project. 

Prichard’s work leads to question how far photojournalism benefits marginalised communities around the world. With communities being unrecorded in the media from the form of art, photography, and film, capturing the lifestyles and expression of marginalised voices, as shown in Prichard’s series, the movement of photography is more accessible across social media thus encouraging a new conversation surrounding the marginalised from Western society. 

As an art, photography has taken a storm into becoming one of the creative spaces that encourages editing and coverage. Stripping down photographs to what they are, a documentation, and focusing on marginalised communities is a chance for them to be heard across the media that they cannot do themselves. The compositional output of photojournalism captures the communities in their raw form. 

encouraging a new conversation surrounding the marginalised from Western society

Photography goes beyond a written documentation of these communities, if social media won’t listen to their voices, a photographic view holds more representation; encouraging a conversation that otherwise goes unheard. Whether focusing on portraiture or environmental, photography encourages people on social media platforms to react, it’s photojournalism that voices these communities when the media chooses not to listen. 

A photo is worth a thousand words, and they can give marginalised communities a voice. 

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