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Eva Woolridge

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Class of 2022 BEQ Pride LGBTQ Leader Under 40
(She, Her) is 28

What do you believe is your responsibility to this moment in history?

I think my responsibility is to use my photography, creative projects, and voice to advocate healing and inspire compassion among others. I focus a lot of my work highlighting Black reproductive health at the moment through my documentary on black birth workers and my award-winning series Size of a Grapefruit. As a queer Black mixed woman, I often jump between many different communities, and I see the “differences” that actually make us all so similar. I want my work to inspire collaboration, unity, and joy in safe spaces. To encourage vulnerability and the vibrancy that makes us all unique.

Eva Woolridge is a Brooklyn, New York-based, Black and Chinese-American photographer. Her work explores the sexual, spiritual and emotional nature of femininity. This award-winning photographer’s images transcend surface-level labels of people of color by conveying strength, perseverance, vulnerability and vitality through strong lighting and composition.

Eva’s first photo essay was entitled Peeled Paint, produced in 2014, and it conveyed her understanding of the human ego and spirituality. Upon graduating from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2015, Eva completed her second social-consciousness narrative called Embrace Your Essence. The series focused on young women’s journey toward self-love – defining what they find beautiful about themselves. Many of the narratives included illnesses, challenges to meet Western standards of beauty and quirks that once negatively affected their self-esteem.

In 2019, Woolridge became a recipient of The Leica Women in Foto Award for her series The Size of a Grapefruit, a visual narrative based on Eva’s traumatic medical event which highlights the emotional stages from before, during and after her ovarian cyst surgery. Her objective is to address the accounts of her surgery, microaggressions and medical negligence Black women experience during medical emergencies and the outdated information available in women’s reproductive health. 

Woolridge continues to use visual narratives to convey a tone of a new, inclusive wave of feminine energy through her gaze as a queer, woman of color while commenting on the social and cultural conditions of her communities.

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