Why is ageism so prevalent in the photographic world? Why do emerging photographers have to be aged between 18 and 35, as so many competitions and initiatives demand? What is so critical about those years? Why does a persons’ work made within those ages require more attention than someone who is 10, 16, 39, 54 or 90?
It seems that, for those who run competitions and initiatives etc., youthfulness equals, and I hate this term so much I can feel the bile rising even now, freshness. When will it be realized that youth does not guarantee innovation! We, photographers, are supposed to exist in a creative world, where communication of a point of view, an idea, or a particular event, a story, what ever you want to call it, in an intelligent and eloquent manner is paramount. Yet, despite this, we persist in allowing rampant ageism to flourish. If a ninety year old picks up a camera for the first time and produces something wonderful, why should they be excluded from so much because of their age?
I always thought, or hoped that people within in the creative world would, more than any other group, lead by example in the fight against prejudice of any kind. It astounds me that collectively, people who are supposed to be the enlightened ones, people who should be fighting against prejudice, allow this to happen. Would we accept competitions etc. that excluded certain racial groups, or women?
Read this carefully: It is the work that matters. Get it.