Sistagraphy A Black Women's Photography Collective Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary
Sistagraphy was formed in 1993 when Sheila Turner, an Atlanta-based documentary photographer, created a platform for Black women photographers to exhibit and share their stories. Turner sent invitations to nine other photographers she knew personally, and the first exhibition occurred. The next year the exhibition took place under their new name Sistagraphy coined by the PhotoGriot Sue Ross. This year marks their thirtieth year, and we’re speaking with a few members. Furery Reid, the Executive Director, and Catherine J. Alston, one of the founding members, join us to discuss their 30th Anniversary.
I ask Reid to tell us about the organization, and she speaks about the history of photography being the purview of white men. Women were not known as photographers. Specifically, many Black women photographers were not offered opportunities to exhibit their work beyond their homes. Sheila Turner decided that the work and stories told by Black photographers should be valued and viewed by the world.
Sistagraphy changed the perception of Black women photographers with annual exhibitions held throughout metro Atlanta. While based in Atlanta, the organization has members throughout the United States, and a few live internationally. Louisa McCullough, formerly of Atlanta, hopes to gather an active cohort in Northern California.
On Friday, July 28th, Sistagraphy members will honor their founder with music, art, poetry, and more. The community is invited to join the celebration from 6PM - 8PM.