Subjects wanted for a Hysterical Women-inspired photography project

Emily Ryalls, The Yorkshire Moors 500dpi.jpgRegular readers might remember Emily Ryalls, who wrote a guest post last year about her experience of being dismissed as a ‘hypochondriac teenage girl with an overanxious mother and a hard to diagnose illness‘.

Emily is also an up-and-coming photographer and is now seeking participants for a Hysterical Women-inspired project. This will visually explore the experiences of women – like her, and the many other women whose stories are featured on this blog – whose health concerns have been dismissed, minimised and misdiagnosed.

See details below, in Emily’s own words, and please contact her directly if you’re interested in taking part:

I’m an analogue photographer living in West Yorkshire and very much interested in developing a series of photographs which can act as a visual testament to our joint experiences. You’ll notice I say ‘our experiences’ – I’m particularly interested in working with other women like yourselves, as I’ve battled with our national health service for the last 8 years over my own healthcare, so this project will blur the lines between a divided photographer and subject relationship, and come from a place of appreciation and understanding.

Izzy & her Mum 500px.jpgI’ve previously worked with a group of young women/girls and their mothers who’ve been subjected to years of dismissal and misdiagnoses as a result of their beliefs that their chronic health problems began following the HPV vaccination. This project was very well received and became almost like a visual diary for everyone involved. This was really important to the girls, as they wanted the chance to reclaim their own narrative and be in control of how they were represented. This project is currently still being exhibited, and alongside this I was working with self-portraiture on other short series, which could demonstrate gender disparity in women’s healthcare – as well as exploring the level of catharsis involved with photography and representation.

My self-portraits were selected as this year’s Guardians top picks from British photography graduates, as well as featuring in shows throughout the UK and Europe, and my previous work with other women/girls is currently on show at Nottingham’s Off Centre photography festival.

Previous performative womens photographyMy website is, so please do have a look and if you have any questions regarding the project don’t hesitate to ask! I appreciate that not everyone is comfortable in front of a lens, but in the past I’ve worked with compositions which hide the identities of the girls. These photographs are equally as powerful, so please think of this as a collaborative project – you would be very much in control!

I really do believe that visualizing issues like this can be a step forward in promoting change, so I hope some of you will chose to get involved. It would be lovely to meet you.