What History?

Encounter on Photobooks by Women

Thursday, 22 February 2024 - 6pm

Free, until full capacity is reached. Tickets may be collected at the Museo’s Ticket Offices or on the Museo Reina Sofía website from 10am on 20 February (a maximum of 2 per person). 20% of the visitor-capacity will be reserved for attendance without ticket collection on the day of the activity. Doors open thirty minutes beforehand.

Sold out

Nouvel Building, Library and Documentation Centre, Floor -1, Reading Room
120 people
Organised by
Museo Reina Sofía

This encounter, in conjunction with the exhibition What They Saw. Historical Photobooks by Women, 1843–1999, curated by Russet Lederman and Olga Yatskevich, seeks to reflect on the female gaze and the photobook, an artistic medium which has come to the fore in recent years, despite historiography and exhibitions continuing to favour male authorship. The activity comprises a conversation between the publisher Sonia Berger and the aforementioned editor Russet Lederman, followed by an intervention from the photographers Liza Ambrossio, Manuela Lorente and Lúa Ribeira.

What They Saw. Historical Photobooks by Women, 1843–1999 is an initiative by the US publishing house 10×10 Photobooks, which gathers and documents photobooks made by women to fill the void that exists in the history of the medium. The project is thus articulated around a touring exhibition and reading room, in addition to a catalogue, which reaches the Museo Reina Sofía Library and Documentation Centre with a view to placing value on other gazes and trajectories, generating new narratives and links to the institution’s holdings.

The conversation between Sonia Berger and Russet Lederman looks to analyse the project’s origins, its presentation in the Museo, and the accompanying publication. Moreover, the two editors focus on the contribution of women pioneers of photography, the challenges they faced to publish their work and their role as editors and artists. The intervention is followed by a conversation between the photographers Liza Ambrossio, Manuela Lorente and Lúa Ribeira, where each one will talk about a photobook of their choice that is part of the show, opening with such a gesture an inter-generational dialogue between their current work and that of the women photographers assembled in this initiative.


Liza Ambrossio is a Franco-Mexican photographer who lives and works between Spain, France and Mexico. She is the author of the photography books The rage of devotion - La ira de la devoción (La Fábrica, 2018), Naranja de Sangre (La Fábrica, 2021) and Toda devoción causa ira (Pepitas de Calabaza, 2023), and her work has been exhibited at institutions such as Casa de América (Madrid), within the official selection of PHotoESPAÑA 2021, and the Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation, during the Les Rencontres de la photographie d’Arles 2022 (Arles). Recognition for her work most notably includes the PHotoEspaña Descubrimientos 2017–2018 grant; Prix Voies Off 2018, from Les Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles, and the Prix pour la Photographie del Musée du quai Branly (Paris).

Sonia Berger is an independent publisher. Since 2000, her career has been shaped by her work with different publishers, and she has run Dalpine since 2010, a publishing house specialised in photography books, work she combines with disseminating photographic and artistic works through exhibitions. Moreover, she has curated, among other projects, the collective exhibition Blank Paper: Histoires du présent immédiat (Les Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles, Arles, 2017) and Subida al cielo. Lúa Ribeira (Kutxa Fundazioa, Donostia-San Sebastián, 2023)

Russet Lederman is a photographer and photobook collector and editor who lives in New York. A professor at the School of Visual Arts in New York, she writes about photobooks in print and digital journals, including FOAM, The Eyes, IMA and Aperture. She is the co-founder of the publishing house 10x10 Photobooks, co-editor of The Gould Collection and the editor of numerous publications related to photography, for instance the catalogue accompanying the show What They Saw: Historical Photobooks by Women, 1843–1999 (10×10 Photobooks, 2021).

Manuela Lorente is a photographer. She has published the photographic books Él pone la música, nosotros bailamos (Dalpine, 2021) and Y a esta rata quien la mata (Dalpine, 2022), and has taught at the Espai fotogràfic Can Basté in Barcelona and the Escuela de fotografía Elisa Miralles in Madrid. She was awarded the PHotoESPAÑA Descubrimientos 2020 grant and her work has been exhibited at events such as BAFFEST Festival de Fotógrafas (Barakaldo, 2021), the JUSTMAD art fair (Madrid, 2021) and Nuit de L’Année (Les Rencontres d’Arles, Arles, 2023).

Lúa Ribeira is a photographer who, since 2018, has been represented by Magnum Photos. She was honoured with the Firecracker Grant for Women in Photography and won the Jerwood/Photoworks Award in 2018. Her work has been on display at international exhibitions, both solo and collective, and in spaces and institutions such as the International Center of Photograpy (New York), the Impressions Gallery (Bradford) and the Beijing International Photography Biennale (Beijing). Her first photographic book Subida al cielo (Dalpine, 2023) was shortlisted for the Aperture First PhotoBook Award. The publication of the book was accompanied by a solo show at Kutxa Fundazioa (Donostia-San Sebastián, 2023).