Photojournalist Abigail Heyman Dies at 70
The pioneering feminist photographer published ‘Growing Up Female’ in 1974
At a time when many photojournalists have been replaced by iPhones, it feels right to take a moment to remember one of the greats. Abigail Heyman, the feminist photojournalist best-known for her book Growing up Female: A Personal Photo-Journal, died May 28 at the age of 70, leaving behind a legacy of exceptional, eye-opening feminist photography.
Heyman’s work portrayed women posing in the occupational roles to which they were restricted. From her Times obituary:
In claustrophobic black-and-white images of almost clinical detail, she portrayed women in curlers shopping for groceries; women as spectators, watching men do things they enjoy; a nude dancer at a strip joint flat on her back, legs apart; a woman at a kitchen table in an apparent stupor of fatigue, a wailing baby on the changing table nearby; little girls playing with dolls.
As one of the pioneering female photojournalists, Heyman used her camera to create the career she wanted. She built a foundation by taking harrowing photographs, like one of her experiencing an abortion. Her images shocked and angered the masses until eventually they had no choice but to look. Her work was featured in Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, Time, and Life, and she was one of the first women to gain entry into Magnum Photos.
During my year at Columbia Journalism School, there were so many talented young female photojournalists who had already begun to change the world with their coverage of Hurricane Sandy or hospice care in New York City. It’s comforting to know that because of women like Heyman, all of us are in it together. We are working toward careers in journalism so that we can tell stories that might otherwise not be told, shining a light on quiet injustices with our cameras or pens.
Plus Philippines may withdraw Golan troops, dropping DSK charges, and more
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.