If you know Donna Ferrato, she lives her art. She is angry. She is empathic. She is loving. She is committed. This book, Holy, is an encapsulation of her anger, a compendium of her empathy; a 176-page vessel of her love; a lifetime of her commitment.
Holy is forged from one woman’s outrage against a woman-hating world. Donna Ferrato’s radical photographs showcase the remarkable ways women survive, endure, and change. Holy depicts women who prevail. Holy is an invitation to understand denigration, abuse, disregard, contempt—on a personal level, a governmental policy level, on a religious level, you name it—and the power of redemptive righteousness; of desire; of nurturing and raising; of loving.
This new book showcases Ferrato’s fierce devotion to uncovering the complicated truth about women’s lives, breaking with the traditional documentary approach and embracing non-objective journalism, where documentation, opinion, and immersion come together to tell her story over five decades. (via powerhousebooks.com)
“Over the last 50 years, I’ve been driven to photograph the wisdom and courage of women: their mentality, their sexuality, their emotionality, their spirituality.
HOLY is the most important book I have ever done. It’s about the unleashed power of women. What women have gained over the last 50 years. The hard-won freedom that women are losing. Why every woman’s autonomy is sacrosanct.
My stepdaughter, feminist writer Kat Holden, inspired me to honor the full dimension of women’s lives by bringing my most powerful photographs together in one book:
“I can’t think of any photojournalist who has documented the extremes of human passion more intensively and extensively than Donna. No one has better captured the 360º picture of walking this Earth as a female. There used to be a time when her study of women was split: over here, the ‘domestic violence’ work, and over here, the ‘sex’ work. The combination of the two is vital. It’s only in this combination that we see the whole spectrum—the truth of what it is to be a woman. The contradictions we are expected to embody: the virgin and the whore, the vulnerable and the invincible, the mother and the daughter.” —Katherine Holden
No expense has been spared. My writing, my thoughts, and my feelings are all immersed in this book. Each page is handmade and captured by the finest duotone. Each edge is engine red. Each caption is handwritten. It’s a true labor of love—about love—and the unassailable Mother of God-given rights of each and every woman. “ (Donna Ferrato)
Holy is the Winner of the 2021 Lucie Photo Book Prize for Best Single-Author Independent Publication.
About the Author
Donna Ferrato is an internationally-renowned documentary photographer. Her gifts for exploration, illumination, and documentation, coupled with a commitment to revealing the darker sides of humanity, have made her a giant in the medium.
She has published four books, including Living with the Enemy (over 40,000 copies sold), and Love & Lust. She has participated in over 500 one-woman shows and has received numerous awards, including the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Humanistic Photography (1987), the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism (2003), and the Gender Fairness Award from the New York State Supreme Court Judges (2009).
Donna founded a non-profit called Domestic Abuse Awareness which she ran for over a decade, and in 2014 launched a campaign called I Am Unbeatable, which features women who have left their abusers. In 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.”