Donna Ferrato is an independent photojournalist and activist who has illuminated the diverse experiences of women for over 50 years. By capturing the extremes—trust and trauma, pain and pleasure, life and death—her body of work tells a story much greater than the sum of its parts.
Through her camera, Ferrato has always been on a mission to change social attitudes and unjust judgements. Ferrato first received critical acclaim for her work that captured the horrors of domestic violence in her iconic book, Living with the Enemy, published by Aperture in 1991. Since then, she has continued to tell the stories of survivors and children of domestic violence, while also using her lens to celebrate the full dimension of women's lives. Her most recent publication, Holy, won the 2021 Lucie Foundation Photobook Award for Best Independent, Single Author Photo Book.
Ferrato has participated in over 500 one-woman shows and has received awards such as the W. Eugene Smith Grant (1986), Robert F. Kennedy Award for Humanistic Photography (1987), the Kodak Crystal Eagle for Courage in Journalism (1997), and most recently, a public art grant from the NYC Parks and NYC Mayor’s Office to create awareness around gender-based violence, which will be unveiled at Collect Pond Park on Jun 25, 2022. She founded a non-profit called Domestic Abuse Awareness, and in 2014 launched a campaign called I Am Unbeatable which features women who have left their abusers. In November 2016, TIME magazine announced her photograph of a woman being hit by her husband (1982) as one of the “100 Most Influential Photographs of All Time.” She is based in New York City where she continues to fight for women’s rights.