Two Hundred Women: who will change the way you see the world

You can't empower women without listening to their stories.
— Gloria Steinem
Chimamanda Adichie 200 Women
Margaret Atwood 200 Women
Amber Heard 200 Women
Inna Modja 200 Women

200 Women is a book and exhibition inspired by a belief that you can’t empower women without listening to their stories. Our subsequent idea was to persuade two hundred women in different parts of the world - whether they be rich or poor, black or white, educated or uneducated, famous or unknown - to sit or stand in front of a plain sheet of fabric and to be photographed and filmed while answering five fundamental questions.

Collette Dinnigan 200 Women
Vidya Balan 200 Women
Jane Goodall 200 Women
Diane Foley 200 Women
200 Women cover

In this beautiful and moving collection of interviews and photographs, 200 women from all over the world are asked the same five, seemingly simple, questions. With responses that range from uplifting to heartbreaking, the resulting profiles reveal stories of generosity, courage, love, loss, redemption and success. From well-known activists, artists and innovators to everyday women whose lives are no less exceptional, each woman shares her unique story, revealing personal and professional challenges, motivations and dreams.

Each interview is accompanied by a portrait from award-winning photographer Kieran E. Scott, and the resulting volume is captivating in both word and image – and global in its scope and resonance. These remarkable women offer gifts of inspiration, empowerment and strength, confirming what we already know – there are no ordinary women.

Geoff Blackwell, project creator

Geoff Blackwell is an award-winning publisher and art director. During a career spanning thirty years he has conceived and developed numerous internationally bestselling books founded on humanitarians, humanity, equality and the environment, which have sold over 30 million copies in fifty countries. He has worked alongside many internationally renowned authors, including the late Nelson Mandela, with whom he published four books; Archbishop Desmond Tutu; and the Spencer family, with whom he collaborated to create the only authorised portrait book of Diana, Princess of Wales. He has also collaborated with many of the world’s leading photographers to create photography books, some of which have been conceived as multimedia projects, including M.I.L.K. (Moments Intimacy Laughter Kinship) – an exhibition that toured to fourteen cities – and Wisdom, a book, film and exhibition founded on portraits and interviews with fifty of the world’s most eminent over 65-year-olds, that he conceived and developed with photographer Andrew Zuckerman. He lives in Auckland, New Zealand.

Ruth Hobday, project creator

Ruth Hobday is Blackwell & Ruth’s editor-in-chief and is a founding director and shareholder of the company. During the course of a twenty-five-year career she has developed a reputation as one of the book industry’s finest editors and among many award-winning titles she edited Conversations with Myself, Nelson Mandela’s 2010 New York Times bestseller which has been translated into thirty-six languages, and the internationally bestselling ‘great’ cookbook series which has raised over US$1 million for food security charities. She lives in Auckland, New Zealand.

Kieran Scott, photographer

‘My mother, Patricia, gave me my first camera when I was nine or ten years old. I got my first roll of film to go in it five years later.’

Kieran E. Scott began his photographic career in London in the late 1980s under the tutelage of acclaimed food and travel photographer Anthony Blake. After starting out by supplying Blake with photographs for his library, Scott’s work began appearing throughout the UK and Europe.

In 1992 he started working with magazines in New Zealand and Australia, including groundbreaking Australian Vogue Entertaining + Travel and New Zealand’s leading food and wine title, Cuisine. His work was soon picked up by premium magazines in the US and Europe and he started shooting pioneering documentary-style features of his own design, combining portraits, still lifes and landscapes, creating images full of energy and movement. Over the past twenty years he has maintained a regular working relationship with some of the world’s leading magazines, including Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, Condé Nast Traveller, Departures and Vogue. During this time he has become a contributing photographer for Getty Images’ Seattle office and has been commissioned to produce photographs for more than forty books and hundreds of advertising campaigns and design projects.

Scott also creates comprehensive image collections for almost all of New Zealand’s primary industries as well as Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand.