The Royal Photographic Society is committed to making the art and science of photography widely available - ensuring that everyone can access this dynamic medium, regardless of the colour of their skin, their gender, age or any aspect of their identity, background or circumstance.
In September 2020, the RPS made a series of specific commitments to help address this. One of these was to create a group of “RPS Critical Friends” to help us approach this task with rigour and honesty. This group was formed through a careful and open process, to ensure it has independence, representing a wide range of experiences and perspectives. The individual members of the group (some of whom are pictured above) are giving their time and expertise on a voluntary basis and we are very grateful to them all. They are detailed here.
The group had its first meeting in January 2021, and together we considered the various barriers for people accessing and participating in photography in general, and in joining the RPS in particular. Chaired by Trustee Andy Golding, it was a challenging and revealing conversation, recognising that the RPS has much to address to make progress in this area - but also acknowledging there is much to celebrate.
We have been set various challenges to gather baseline data for the next meeting, so that we can prioritise what actions to take and measure progress. We will provide updates through the RPS website, and will also ensure that these important new approaches are built into the RPS's emerging new strategy.