History, Trustees, Festival Director

Founded by local photojournalist, Robin Laurance, Photo Oxford was established to bring internationally acclaimed photography and photographic debate to the city of Oxford. Photo Oxford hosts exhibitions, events and professional development opportunities in collaboration with local, national and international partners to bring photographic excellence to the region, develop new audiences, nurture talent, and promote investment within the sector.

Photo Oxford will deliver a continuation of their 2020 Festival, Women and Photography – Ways of Seeing and Being Seen, from 15 October to 15 November 2021. This month-long festival will complete and enhance the programme that could not be fully presented in 2020 due to the Covid-19 restrictions. Future festivals will be biennial.

Photo Oxford is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (registration no. 1154142).

Previous Festival Themes:

2014: What good is Photography?
2017: Conceal/Reveal
2020: Women & Photography: Ways of Seeing & Being Seen (Part 1)


Hands and Feet  by Helen Muspratt
Hands and Feet © Helen Muspratt ca. 1932


2020 coincided with the centenary of the first woman matriculating and graduating from the University of Oxford. What better time and place could there be for celebrating women and their diverse roles in international photography?

The 2020 and 2021 Photo Oxford Festivals are a celebration of women as photographers, critics, editors and photographic subjects.

While photography, like many of the creative arts, is perceived to be a male-dominated field, history shows that even in the late 19th century, women of the upper and middle classes experimented with the medium as a tool of documentation as well as artistic self-expression. At the same time photographic studios employed working-class women to assist in a variety of work. When photography became widely accessible in the 20th century, women increasingly participated in the creation of photographs: in front of the lens as well as behind it.

What themes are women photographers addressing from behind the camera? To what extent have muses become collaborators in the creation of their photographic image? Do selfies show more than self-generated objects of display? Our festival seeks to draw attention to diverse viewpoints, relationships, and concerns that inform today's photographic culture.


Dr. Lena Fritsch

is a specialist in Japanese photography, and Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Ashmolean Museum (University of Oxford). Prior to joining the Ashmolean in 2017, she worked at Tate Modern and Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin. Fritsch’s monographs on photography include Ravens & Red Lipstick. Japanese Photography since 1945 (released in English by Thames & Hudson in 2018 and in Japanese by Seigensha in 2019), an English-language version of Daido Moriyama’s Tales of Tono (Tate Publishing, 2012), The Body as a Screen: Japanese Art Photography of the 1990s (Georg Olms, 2011), and Yasumasa Morimura’s Self-Portraits as Actress (VDM, 2008). Fritsch studied Art History, Japanese Studies, and English Studies at Bonn University, Germany and Keio University, Tokyo.

Richard Ovenden, OBE

Richard is Bodley's Librarian, which is the senior executive position of the Bodleian Libraries. He has worked and published as a professional librarian since 1985 and has been associated with many prestigious libraries. Richard sits on the Board of Research Libraries UK and of the Consortium of European Research Libraries, is a Trustee of the Krazsna Kraus Foundation, of Chawton House Library, and of the Victoria County History for Oxfordshire, and is currently President of the Digital Preservation Coalition, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, an elected member of the American Philosophical Society and a Professorial Fellow at Balliol College, He holds a He has been instrumental in bringing to the Bodleian the archives of noted photographers like William Henry Fox Talbot.

Katy Barron

Katy is a photography curator and Senior Director at Michael Hoppen Gallery in London. She is Chair of the Board of Trustees of Photofusion in Brixton and a member of the Maud Sulter Advisory Board. Katy has been focussed on photography for the past 15 years, working with museums, festivals, galleries, collectors and artists in a variety of capacities such as curating exhibitions both in the UK and abroad, advising museums and collectors on acquisitions, running artists’ residencies and prizes and mentoring photography groups as well as writing exhibition catalogues and attending portfolio reviews in the UK and abroad. She studied at the Courtauld Institute of Art and Magdalen College, Oxford.

Paul Inman, Chair

Paul is currently Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) at University of Reading and leads on strengthening the institution’s international profile and expanding its global connections. Prior to entering academia Paul had a successful career as a filmmaker and television producer. He retains a keen interest in the promotion of interdisciplinary work within the arts, humanities and technology fields. He has variously established a Confucius Institute in Oxford, founded a University Technology College in Swindon and led a Film and Television training scheme in West Africa.

Chloe Dewe Mathews

Chloe Dewe Mathews is an artist, photographer, and filmmaker. Her work is internationally recognised, exhibiting at Tate Modern, Irish Museum of Modern Art and Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden; as well as being published widely in newspapers and magazines such as the Guardian, New Yorker, Financial Times and Le Monde. She is the recipient of the Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography from Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, and her work is held in public collections such as the British Council Art Collection, the National Galleries of Scotland and the Irish State Art Collection. Four monographs have been published on her work: Shot at Dawn (Ivorypress, 2014), Caspian: the Elements (Aperture / Peabody Press, 2018), In Search of Frankenstein (Kodoji Press, 2018) and Thames Log (Loose Joints / Martin Parr Foundation, 2021).

Sir Brian Pomeroy, CBE

Brian was the Senior Partner of Deloitte Consulting until 1999 when he took up a number of public, private and voluntary sector appointments. From 2007 to 2013 he was Chair of the Photographers’ Gallery in London. He holds an MA in Photography and is an active photographer (ARPS) and collector of photographs and photo-books. He is Chair of the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation, which awards photography and moving-image book prizes, and Chair of the Royal Photographic Society’s Awards Committee.

Benet Slay

Benet is an entrepreneur and businessman with expertise focused on developing strategy and effective operational execution that challenges conventional boundaries. This expertise was developed both in large businesses and in start-up organisations primarily in the UK, Western Europe and the USA. He has had a lifelong interest in photography.

Taous Dahmani

Taous is a photography historian working between Paris and Oxford. She is currently a PhD fellow at the Panthéon-Sorbonne University in Paris. Since 2019 Taoushas been a researcher attached to the Maison Française in Oxford. She is on the editorial board of The Eyes, an annual bilingual photography magazine. You can regularly read her work as a photography critic in specialized publications and hear her talks in photo-related events.

Jeremy Mogford

Jeremy, a Trustee since 2015, holds a Doctorate from Oxford Brookes University, owns the Old Bank and Old Parsonage Hotels as well as Gees Restaurant in Oxford. His support of the arts goes back to his Directorship and sponsorship of the Discerning Eye Arts Exhibition (1995-1997), his sponsorship to re-establish the Oxford Literary Festival in 1995 and his founding in 2013 and ongoing sponsorship of the annual short story competition, The Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing. Jeremy has chaired ROX (Backing Oxford Business) since 1999 and OHSA (Oxford High Street Assocociation) since 2008. He is an avid collector of 20th Century British Art and Photography.

Mark Alexander

Mark should really have become a photographer, but ended up in medicine. The nearest equivalent in that profession is, of course, that of a Radiologist working with the full range of cameras to image inside the body – MRI, CT, ultrasound, x-rays and functional imaging, which he has practised for 30 years.

Joanna Vestey

Joanna Vestey is a practising artist/photographer based in Oxford. She holds an MA in Social Anthropology and Development from SOAS and has recently completed a practice-based PhD at USW. Her doctoral studies focused on shifts in materiality and technology and photography’s place within this. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is held in permanent collections. She is passionate about social change and is always interested in how photography and the arts can be used to both affect and effect this.

Uwe Ackermann

Uwe's professional life was that of a physiologist. In retirement he is an amateur photographer, living and exhibiting in Oxford. His special interest is in creating in Oxford a hub that is powered by the tension and dialogue between photographers who continue in the tradition of describing the world around them, and those artists who create novel visual ideas in a medium where almost everything that can be photographed has already been photographed.

Danielle Battigelli, Festival Director

Danielle has worked in the non-for-profit arts sector since 2005, following 15 years as a solicitor specialising in charities and intellectual property. With an MA in Arts Policy & Management from Birkbeck, University of London, and extensive experience as a trustee of different arts charities, including Magdalen Road Studios, she has led, advised on and contributed to a wide range of arts projects. These include being Executive Director for Cowley Road Carnival and work with the History of Science Museum in Oxford. She has a life-long interest in photography, stemming from strong family involvement in the art.