‘We are shifting the power of storytelling to women’: Photography exhibition opens

All-female showcase, Women by Women, highlights climate change, feminism, and war

Women by Women, a photography exhibition showcasing a range of professional female photographers from all over the world, launched on Wednesday in the Mansion House, Dublin.

All images on display are taken by women and feature a range of women from across the world. Each photo tells a unique story and highlights climate change, feminism, and war.

Aida Sarr, photographed by self-taught Senegalese photographer, Ina Makosi, is a community development worker and a matron at the local "health hut" on the island of Maya, Senegal. "When I came here in 1998, there were a lot of trees," says 40-year-old Aida Sarr, "but today you can see for yourself that there are no more, and the grass has dried up due to the rise in sea level making the soil saltier. Sometimes, even our homes are submerged."

“I’ve been a really big advocate of promoting local female photographers,” says Vietnamese photojournalist Yen Duong, “because we really are not visible at all. It’s great to hear ActionAid is doing something about it and trying to tackle the huge gaps. I wanted to collaborate right away.”


Duong's work has been published in international news outlets such as Reuters and Bloomberg. With a background as an investigative journalist, Yen's work explores themes such as human trafficking, climate change and the impact of urbanisation on marginalised communities.

Thu and Huong are farmers, close friends, and members of a village women's group in the Mekong Delta region of southern Vietnam, an area vulnerable to the impact of climate change. Thu and Huong used to grow rice but severe seawater intrusion has forced them to change. They now tend waterlily ponds because they grow easily, filter water well and can be sold in markets.

The launch event gives people the opportunity to view this unique collection of photographs in person. It will also include a panel discussion on dismantling bias, racism, and representation. The exhibition is developed by ActionAid, a charity focused on helping women and children in developing countries overcome the many challenges they face.

"As part of our new strategy, we are aiming to bring an anti-racist, feminist perspective to the way women and girls living in poverty are represented," says Karol Balfe, chief executive of ActionAid Ireland. "We are committed to moving away from traditional charity imagery that depicts people as objects of pity, helpless, desperate and without dignity. We are delighted to bring the Women by Women exhibition to Ireland as an exciting first step in this commitment. Where possible we are shifting the power of storytelling to talented women photographers who were born in Africa, Asia, and the Americas and who live and work there."

The exhibition launched on Wednesday in the Mansion House Dublin and is set to tour around the capital thereafter. Cornucopia Restaurant will host it from April 28th to May 12th and Rathmines Library from May 12th to June 12th 2022. ActionAid hopes to continue the tour into the Autumn. More dates will be added to their website as they are confirmed.

You can register for tickets to the launch event and keep up to date with the exhibition tour at actionaid.ie