TRACE launches mentorship programme for ladies photographers over the age of 35

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© Haley Morris-Cafiero

Haley Morris-Cafiero discusses the launch from the year-long scheme, and exactly why she hopes it will achieve “people who, for whatever reason, haven’t had a seat at the table”

A new artist-led curation and publishing project, TRACE, has announced its inaugural mentorship programme. The year-long scheme will offer no-cost workshops, portfolio reviews and peer networking to 24 ladies photographers, aged 35 and over.

The TRACE Mentorship Programme, open to UK-based practitioners whose work has not made an appearance in a solo exhibition or even book, is aimed at females photographers from underrepresented organizations. TRACE encourages applications through those who identify as Black, Asian, ethnically diverse, LGBTQI+, neurodiverse, disabled, those who encounter gender discrimination and people from a lower socio-economic background.

Photographer Haley Morris-Cafiero whom, alongside curator Sebah Chaudry plus fellow photographer Sian Bonnell , launched the particular mentorship programme, said: “I’ve been a lecturer within universities for almost 20 years and it’s the female students that usually seem to have less self-confidence – they’re full of skill, but there’s confidence issues.

© Sian Bonnell

“We noticed that emerging artist honours always seem to be for 35s and under. It’s like something magical happens when you turn 35 and if a person haven’t made it, you’ve got to figure something else out. ”

For your scheme’s 24 mentees, the programme will begin in Stansted on 11 June 2022, with an in-person introductory event. Throughout the following year, you will see an on-going online program.

Mentees will attend training courses focused on concept development, curation skills and writing proposals, receive advice from sector specialists – including movie director of development at The Royal Photographic Society, Tracy Marshall Grant – and be a part of online peer review classes.  

Finally, the programme’s 24 photographers will attend portfolio reviews, conducted simply by experts including assistant curator at Tate, Emma Lewis; director of photography with FT Weekend Magazine , Emma Bowkett; and curator and photographic artist, Bindi Vora.

At the end of the programme, participants may install works completed throughout the year in a two-day exhibition, scheduled for June 2023. It is hoped that the exhibition can run both online and in-person.

Morris-Cafiero, who uses the girl photography as an activist voice to fight discrimination and social invisibility, said: “We’re really hoping that people apply that wouldn’t normally, maybe because they don’t think they might have a shot, or because they can’t normally afford this.

“People who, for whatever reason, haven’t had a seat at the table. We’re setting this up as a confidence builder for those people. ”

Applications for the SEARCH FOR Mentorship Programme, which is supported by the Genesis Foundation, are usually open until 09 Might 2022. Full details on the right way to apply can be found here .

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