Maggie Steber has traveled to 71 countries as an award-winning photographer.
She took pictures of a guerrilla war in Zimbabwe. In Haiti, she witnessed the atrocities of the end of the Duvalier regime. And she was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her multi-year project documenting the world’s youngest facial transplant recipient, an 18-year-old girl who underwent the procedure in Cleveland.
But the photos that mean the most to her are those of her mother, Madje Steber, who was diagnosed with dementia at age 80. The daughter of a single mother, Steber cared for her for nine years and documented her mother’s decline through her. photograph, “Madje suffers from dementia”. She died in Steber’s arms in 2009, a week after her 89th birthday.
“I really didn’t have anyone… I thought this was my last chance to love,” she said. “Photography really saved me. These photographs remain my greatest treasures.
The project landed on the cover of National Geographic and on two pages inside the magazine.
“So my little mom was a cover girl for NatGeo,” she said. “And I am so proud.”
Steber will be one of the panelists for the first WOPHA Congress: “Women, Photography and Feminisms”, co-presented by Women Photographers International Archive (WOPHA) and Pérez Art Museum Miami. The conference, which will be held from November 18 to 19 at PAMM and virtually, will bring together women photographers, academics, curators and artists from more than 15 countries, including Marie Robert, chief curator of photography at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris; Whitney Johnson, vice president of visuals and immersive experiences at National Geographic Partners; and Laylah Amatullah Barrayn, documentary photographer and co-founder of MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora.
In concert with WOPHA, an exhibition of award-winning female photographs from around the world, titled “Female in Focus,” will open Thursday at Green Space Miami, 7200 Biscayne Blvd. The opening is from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and will continue until January 18, 2022.
The exhibition, presented with 1854 Media and the British Journal of Photography, will feature the work of winners of the Female in Focus Award, launched in 2019 to help correct the gender imbalance in photography.
The idea for the Congress arose out of Aldeide Delgado’s desire to create a spot for female photographers that he missed in Miami. Born in Cuba, Delgado is an art historian and curator specializing in the history of feminist and Latin art.
“For women photographers, we didn’t have a place to connect. Said Delgado, Founder and Director of Women Photographers International Archive (WOPHA). “When I arrived in Miami… I noticed that we didn’t have a place dedicated to promoting the photographic arts. “
The Congress, sponsored by the Knight Foundation and others, is free. One of the three keynote speakers will be Roxana Marcoci, senior curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
“When I was new to photography there were a lot of women and even before me powerful and courageous women who covered everything from war to local stories, but a lot of them were newspaper staff and you didn’t. so haven’t really heard of it. “Steber said.” We are now seeing a whole new generation of female photographers all over the world. “
Steber will be part of a five-person panel discussing documentary photography.
“I like to encourage people to use their imaginations,” Steber said. “There will be opportunities to brainstorm with people and give them advice and it’s just a happy act for me.”
IF YOU ARE GOING TO
What: Photographic exhibition “Woman in sight”
When: Open, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday, November 18, until January 18.
Or: Miami Green Space, 7200 Biscayne Blvd.
Cost: To free
WOPHA CONGRESS: Although tickets for the in-person portion of the WOPHA Congress have sold out, those interested in attending the virtual portion can register at https://wopha.org/congress/
This story was originally published November 17, 2021 2:59 pm.