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From social media movement to museum exhibit, the all-girl '#girlgaze: a frame of mind' hits the Annenberg

Leila Elihu

In early 2016, the Girlgaze project was born on Instagram. What started off as a mere hashtag has grown to become an archive of over 450,000 photographs taken by young female photographers from all over the world. #Girlgaze: a frame of mind is now an exhibit on display at the Annenberg Space for Photography until February 26, and is definitely a worthy addition to your Fall bucket list. 


Photograph: Courtesy Joanna Miriam

The call to action was for young girl photographers to share their own images and reflect a girl’s point of view—behind the camera. The feed includes photos taken by girls as young as 14 and as far away as China. After thousands of photos were posted using the hashtag #girlgaze, Amanda de Cadenet formed the Girlgaze team from an impressive group of photographers and artists. The project tackles the reality that the photography industry is dominated by men, and many of the ads and magazine covers that we see today are photos of women taken by men. De Cadenet says that the goal of Girlgaze is to spotlight the next generation of girl photographers to "represent the reality of what it means to be female: messy, complicated, passionate, sensual, heartbreaking, devastating and joyful," and ultimately get more women photographers hired.


Photograph: Courtesy Luisa Dorr

#Girlgaze is an interactive exhibit of photos that are presented in different mediums, most of them printed and some displayed digitally or on video. Numerous displays fill the room, each with their own themes, such as "this is me," which features black and white photos that celebrate the female form. Another theme is "where she dreams,” taking back the exploitative image of a girl on a bed and instead, presenting the girl’s bedroom in a different point of view: her own. 

The shots mainly depict women (some men) of different ages, ethnicities and body types.  Some are clothed, some aren’t. The one commonality is that every photo is taken by someone who identifies as a girl. There's even a kaleidoscope camera installation where visitors can be photographed, becoming a fleeting part of the exhibit themselves.

The Annenberg Space for Photography is located at 2000 Avenue of the Stars, and admission to the exhibit is free. Check out the Girlgaze Instagram for more stunning photos.

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