Celebrating City Women - The Documentary


During summer and autumn 2020, we produced this documentary highlighting some of the fascinating stories uncovered through the Celebrating City Women research process.

Featuring interviews with historians, artists and curators – among others – we take you back in time and discover the stories of some truly remarkable women who subverted gender norms in their era.

Fast forward to 2019, and Guildhall Art Gallery launched a search for an inaugural Guildhall artist-in-residence. Applicants responded to the theme of ‘celebrating City women’ and Hannah Starkey was chosen for this residency. You may have seen Hannah’s epic and heroic images (see a selection below), capturing real contemporary women in the City and reflecting and celebrating the diversity of the women themselves. This documentary also takes you behind the scenes of her process – what inspires her and how she goes about shooting these carefully choreographed Mise en Scene.

Interviews and filming were conducted adhering to COVID-19 safety measures throughout production.


  • Kesheniwa Aghaji – Artist
  • Wendy Hyde – Chair, City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee
  • Laura Miller – Historian
  • Katherine Pearce – Curator, Guildhall Art Gallery
  • Virginia Rounding – Historian
  • Charlotte Scott – Assistant Director, London Metropolitan Archives
  • Hannah Starkey – Photographer / Guildhall Artist in Residence 2019

Produced and directed by Callum Graham.

Copyright City of London Corporation 2021.

About Celebrating City Women

In 2019, the City of London Corporation commissioned research to explore how women from the City’s past are recognised and documented across its archives and collections, as well as its streetscape. The aim was to shine a light on how we have viewed and commemorated the past, while unearthing the stories of individuals and groups who made a positive impact to London, the UK or the wider world.

These hidden histories offer an opportunity to tell a more vivid and balanced story of the City, a place which was built on the achievements and resilience of women whose names are often overlooked or overshadowed by their male counterparts. They also enable us to celebrate a number of pioneering figures who transformed industries and advocated for the rights of their communities.

Find out more at celebratingcitywomen.co.uk.

Hannah Starkey - Guildhall Artist-in-Residence 2019

See all of Hannah's stunning photographs of real City women.