Julia Gunther is a German photo artist who specialises in documentary projects. Her work explores themes of representation, gender, visual identity and social activism, specifically, the role of women in society. Her projects often consist of a mix of portraits and investigative images, with a strong focus of portraying her subjects as they would like to be seen.

Her photography has been exhibited in New York, London, Cape Town, South Korea, Sydney, Amsterdam and selected by exhibitions and festivals around the globe. Julia's work was selected for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize Exhibition 2016 and has won awards at The New York Photo Festival’s The Last Picture Show 2015 and the Moscow International Foto Awards 2015.

Julia’s work has been featured in international publications such as the New York Times Magazine, TIME, The Independent, Marie Claire, Dazed and WIRED. From January 2016 to December 2017 she was also a regular blogger for The Huffington Post.


UNSEEN Amsterdam, Gallery Mirko Mayer, Amsterdam, NL, solo show
Month of Photography Los Angeles, USA, Projections, ‘The Black Mambas’
Gallery Mirko Mayer, Cologne, Germany, Photography in Space, ‘Fish For Sex’
Gallery Mirko Mayer, Cologne, Germany, Masterpieces & Personalities, ‘The Black Mambas’
IHLIA LGBTI Heritage, OBA, Amsterdam, NL, ‘Chedino’

Gallery Mirko Mayer, Cologne, Germany, Masterpieces & Personalities, ‘The Black Mambas’
IHLIA LGBTI Heritage, OBA, Amsterdam, NL, ‘Chedino’
Objectifs, Chapel Gallery, Singapore, Women in Photography 2018 Slideshow, 'The Black Mambas'
Gallery Mirko Mayer/ M-Projects, Cologne, Germany, 'Recent Works: Proud Women of Africa'
Kuala Lumpur International Photo Award 2018, 'The Black Mambas' & 'Busie'
SANDESH: India’s First Photography Festival for Transgender Community, India, ‘Chedino’                

Festiphoto Menthon St Bernard, France, ‘The Black Mambas’
FC Barcelona Photo Awards, Barcelona, Spain, ‘Malawi Eleven’
Head On Photo Festival, Museum of Sydney, Australia, ‘Ruthy Goes to Church’
Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize Exhibition, The National Portrait Gallery, London; Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, Sunderland; The Beaney, Canterbury, UK, ‘The Black Mambas’

Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize Exhibition, The National Portrait Gallery, London, UK, ‘The Black Mambas’
FotoWeekDC, ‘Represent’ by Refinery29, Washington D.C., USA, ‘The Black Mambas’
Photoville 2016, ‘Represent’ by Refinery29, New York, USA, ‘The Black Mambas’
Head On Photo Festival, Museum of Sydney, Australia, ‘Rainbow Girls’

New York Photo Festival, The Last Picture Show, NY, USA & Seoul, South Korea, ‘Chedino & Family’
Photoville The Fence 2015, New York, Atlanta, Houston, USA, ‘Ruthy Goes to Church’
Wundermarket Amsterdam, NL, ‘Ruthy Goes to Church’                                                                          
Kuala Lumpur International Photo Award 2015, 'Chedino'
IHLIA LGBTI Heritage, OBA, Amsterdam, NL, ‘Chedino & Family’
Blank Wall Gallery, Athens, Greece, ‘Chedino & Family’
GRID Cape Town Biennial 2015, SA, ‘Proud Women of Africa’

New York Photo Festival, Photoworld 2014, New York, USA, ‘Ruthy Goes to Church & Rainbow Girls’
Photoville 2014, ALIVE Dutch Photography, New York, USA, ‘Rainbow Girls’
IHILIA LGBTI Heritage, OBA, Amsterdam, NL, ‘Rainbow Girls’

Black Box Gallery, Portland, OR, USA, ‘Rainbow Girls’
Menier Gallery, London, UK, Life Framer Exhibition, ‘Maternity Ward’                                                
Kuala Lumpur International Photo Award 2013, 'Ruthy Goes to Church'
W1F Gallery, Amsterdam, NL, ‘Rainbow Girls’

LhGWR Gallery, The Hague, NL, ‘Ruthy Goes to Church’
The Art of Photography Show, San Diego, USA, ‘Ruthy Goes to Church’
ARTWORKS, Glassworks, Amsterdam, NL, ‘Ruthy Goes to Church’
Kuala Lumpur International Photo Award 2012, 'Roos'
Pakhuis Wilhelmina, Amsterdam, NL, ‘De Hard Rock Karoke’.


PDN Storyteller 2018: People, Winner
Kuala Lumpur International Photo Award 2018, Finalist

Felix Schoeller Photo Award 2017, Shortlisted
FC Barcelona Photo Awards 2016, Finalist
Head On Portrait Prize 2017, Finalist

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2016, Finalist
Head On Portrait Prize 2016, Finalist
Moscow International Photo Awards 2016, Honorable Mention

New York Photo Festival presents The Last Picture Show 2015, Winner
Moscow International Photo Awards 2015, 2nd Place
Kuala Lumpur International Photo Award 2015, Finalist

New York Photo Festival presents PhotoWorld 2014, Winner
Photolucida Critical Mass 2014, Finalist Top 200
Moscow International Photo Awards 2014, Honorable Mention

LensCulture Exposure Awards 2013, Winner
GUP New Dutch Photography Talent 2013
Kuala Lumpur International Photo Award 2013, Finalist

New York Photo Awards 2012, Interim Winner
37th Anniversary International Professional Women Photographers, Winner
The Photographer’s Forum Magazine 2012, Best of Photography 2012
Kuala Lumpur International Photo Award 2012, Finalist


, USA, ‘The Dark Secret of Lake Malawi: Trading Sex For Fish’, June 2019 by Marc Silver
ARTMAPP Magazine,
DE, Cover, ‘Proud Women of Africa’, Interview, March 2019 by Bettina Götz

The Royal Photographic Society, UK, Instagram Takeover: RPS100Heroines, Nov 2018
Quanta Magazine
, USA, ‘Ewine van Dieshoek, The Netherlander Who Traced Water’s Origin’, Nov 2018 by Olena Shmahalo
PDN, USA, ‘Photo Of The Day - Proud Women of Africa’, September 2018
NRC, NL, ‘Ik at soep met tranen!’, May 2018 by Lamyae Aharouay & Anna Krijger
NRC, NL, ‘Deze verminkende hersensloper is nog niet gepakt’, May 2018 by Sander Voormolen
New York Portfolio Review, by The New York Times Lens, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, New York, USA, April 2018
NRC, NL, ‘Zo krijgt Afrika elektriciteit’January 2018 by Paul Luttikhuis

Open Society Foundations, USA, Instagram Takeover: On South Africa’s majority- female anti- poaching squad, Dec 2017
Die Zeit, Christ & Welt, DE, ‘Was haben wir übersehen?’; October 2017 by Hannes Leitlein
Weekend Argus, SA, ‘Photos depict how women challenge stereotypes’; Malawi Eleven, June 2017 by Michael Morris
Marie Claire Magazine, UK, ‘Period pride in Malawi’; June Issue 2017 by Emma Ledger
Der GreifGuest Room – Azu Nwagbogu; Malawi Eleven, April 2017
TIME For Kids Magazine‘Cricket For All’; Malawi Eleven, April 2017 by Kio Herrera
PF Magazine‘Trots als gemene deler’; Proud Women of Africa, Interview, April 2017 by Naomi Heidinga
PictureThis, Talk, Proud Women of Africa, Fotomuseum Den Haag, NL, April 2017
LensCulture‘Proud Women of Africa’, Video Interview from 2016, March 2017
Al Jazeera, ‘Malawi’s cricketer girls break stereotypes and barriers’, February 2017 by Nick Schonfeld
Weekend Argus, SA‘Breaking the cycle of women’s poverty’, January 2017 by Michael Morris
Huffington PostMeet The Young Malawian Women Tailoring and Selling Reusable Sanitary Pads’, January 2017 by Priscilla Frank
National Portrait Gallery, London, UK, Instagram Takeover: The Black Mambas, January 2017

Refinery29The Reusable Sanitary Pads of Malawi, December 2016 by Andrea Gonzalez-Ramirez
Life Force Magazine‘The Black Mambas’, Photo- Essay, December 2016
The Guardian, My Best Shot, ‘Julia Gunther’s best photograph: The church brigade leader giving Cape Town kids hope’, Interview, December 2016 by Ben Beaumont-Thomas
HUCK Magazine‘Capturing the power and strength of African women’, Interview, November 2016 by Michael Segalov
Refinery29UK‘Meet The Women Risking Their Lives To Save Elephants in SA’, November 2016 by Emma Ledger
Refinery29‘Stunning Images From 29 Women We Admire’, September 2016
Africa Rising, Book about Fashion, Design and Lifestyle from Africa, August 2016 by Gestalten & Design Indaba
De Correspondent‘Waar zijn de lesbiennes gebleven?’, July 2016 by Maaike Meijer
Brigitte Magazine, Nr.8‘Die mutigen Schutzengel der Nashörner’, March 2016 by Sarah Levy
WIRED‘The Young Women Who Hunt South Africa’s Poachers – Unarmed’, March 2016 by Laura Mallonee
Captured Nation‘Powerful Insight Into the Strength of African Women’ Interview, February 2016
The Lake Magazine, #008, The Black Mambas’, February 2016
Shots.net, ‘South Africa Special: Julia Gunther’, Interview, February 2016 by Selena Schleh
L’Espresso, ‘In Africa l’orgoglio è femmina’, Interview, January 2016 by Vincenzo Giardina

Weekend Argus, SA, ‘Living Life On Her Own Terms’, December 2015 by Michael Morris
CNN, Inside Africa, ‘They’re called the Black Mambas, and they’re a poachers worst nightmare’ December 2015
Refinery29, ‘I Am Strong, I Am A Woman & I Bite Like A Mamba’, December 2015 by Kaelyn Forde
Al Jazeera AJ+‘Chedino & Family – Julia Gunther on being Trans in South Africa’, December 2015
Refinery29‘Stunning Portraits of Chedino & Her Family’, December 2015 by Kaelyn Forde
DAZED‘Capturing the life of a trans woman in South Africa’, November 2015 by Ashleigh Kane
Marie Claire Magazine, SA, ‘The Women Who Hunt Poachers’, November 2015 by Sylvia McKeown and Sarah Koopman
TIME For Kids Magazine, Cover, ‘On Patrol – The Black Mambas’, November 2015 by Aryn Baker
TIME Magazine‘Meet the female rangers trying to save South Africa’s rhinos’, October 2015 by Aryn Baker
TIME Video‘Inside the New Weapon against Poachers’, October 2015 by Aryn Baker
The Independent On Sunday: The New Review Magazine, Cover, ‘The Lion Queens’, September 2015 by Kate Wills
The Creators Project VICE‘Rolling with the Black Mambas’, September 2015 by Beckett Mufson
Huffington Post Mag #167, Cover, ‘Meet The Black Mambas’, September 2015 by Priscilla Frank
Al Jazeera AJ+‘The Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit: Champions of the Earth’, September 2015
Weekend Argus, SA, ‘Poachers, Beware these Mambas’, September 2015 by Michael Morris
Huffington Post‘Meet The Black Mambas’, September 2015 by Priscilla Frank
Aint- Bad Magazine‘Ruthy Goes to Church’, September 2015
HuffPostLive, WorldBrief with @CarolMT, ‘Black Mambas of South Africa’, September 2015
The New York Times Magazine‘On Patrol with the Black Mambas’, Photo Essay, August 2015
New Dawn Paper‘Julia Gunther is gefascineerd door het doorzettingsvermogen van de mensheid’, Interview, June 2015
Het Parool, NL, ‘Voor alles dat zwemt, vliegt of kruipt’, DA Amsterdam, April 2015 by Lara Aerts
National Geographic‘Portraits of Strength; Rainbow Girls’, March 2015 by Jessie Wender
Weekend Argus, SA, ‘Lesbians living, loving and out in Khayelitsha’, March 2015 by Michael Morris
Huffington Post‘Meet the ‘Rainbow Girls’, March 2015 by Priscilla Frank
Feature Shoot‘Rainbow Girls shows South Africa’s Lesbian Community In Bold Contrast’, Feb 2015 by Elyssa Goodman

Creative Review Photography Annual 2014 Magazine, Cover, ‘Rainbow Girls’
New Dawn Paper, Editors Pic, ‘Rainbow Girls: Terra’, November 2014
Zoom Magazine, Italy ‘The Futures of Portrait: Rainbow Girls’ by Sara Namias
Vision Magazine #141, China, ‘Culture: Smells Like Teen Spirit – Rainbow Girls’, July 2014 by Liz Xu
The Candid Frame PodcastEpisode 230 – Julia Gunther, April 2014, by Ibarionex Perello
DAZED, ‘South Africa’s Rainbow Girls’; Interview, April 2014 by Maisie Skidmore

ORMS, SA, ‘Stylised portraits of women: Wall of Women’, March 2013
Froot Magazine‘Onderdrukte lesbiennes uit Zuid- Afrika in de serie Rainbow Girls’, March 2013
ToneLit Magazine, ‘Issue Four: Rainbow Girls’, February 2013

Het Parool‘Ware Liefde in Groep 5’, July 2012 by Lara Aerts
PhotoQ Review by Lise Lotte ten Voorde ‘Uiterst Aangenaam Tegengif: Somehow, Somewhat in the middle of things groepstentontoonstelling met Ruthy Goes to Church’, April 2012