Lee-Ann Olwage / Photographer Engagement Manager

Lee-Ann Olwage is a visual storyteller from South Africa. Her work is all about identity, collaboration, and celebration. She is interested in using the medium of photography as a mode of co-creation and celebration. With her long-term projects, she aims to create a space where people she collaborates with can play an active part in the creation of images they feel tells their stories in a way that is affirming and celebratory.

In 2020 she won a World Press Photo Award and was shortlisted for the Palm Photo Prize, CAP Prize, and Marilyn Stafford Fotoreportage Award. (I don't know about including this part but I see everyone lists some work experience.)

She joined Native as a photographer and is helping to run the photographer-centric and community-building programs at Native. She helped to launch the first ever Native Peer Mentorship Program and Native Masterclass. When not on assignment she can be found exploring dirt roads and camping.

Jitske Nap / Community Manager

Jitske Nap (b. 1989, The Netherlands) is a freelance visual creative based in Amsterdam. Her approach towards visual design is multi layered and almost holistic, trying to push the limits of what is possible through photo/videography, styling and art direction. Her work focuses on fashion, music and nightlife. She is fascinated by people that stand out because of their authentic and non-traditional way of living. Her work can be found in publications such as Vice, V Magazine, Vogue Italia and newspapers such as FD, Parool, and the Volkskrant. Beyond her work, she has worked at the non-profit organization Native Agency since 2017 finding it important to give back by supporting photojournalists from under-represented regions.

Kisha Ravi / Community & Engagement Editor

Kisha Ravi is a freelance photographer and photo editor raised + based in Bangalore, India. Kisha is currently a photo editor at Rest of World. She was a former photo editor for National Public Radio (NPR) and a social media manager + researcher at Chennai Photo Biennale, a non-profit engaged in photographic arts and meaningful socio-cultural discussion. She is currently a part of Diversify Photo’s new Up Next category: a list of up and coming photographers, selected from a pool of more than 1,000 applicants. She joined Native as a Photographer and Community & Engagement Editor in 2020.

Laura Beltrán Villamizar / Director of Photography & Founder

Laura Beltrán Villamizar is an independent writer, curator, and creative director in the field of photography and visual arts. She's currently Director of Photography for Atmos Magazine, a publication at the intersection of climate change and social justice.

Before that, she was Art Director and Photography Editor at NPR, shaping the brand's visual identity and elevating its visual storytelling throughout all its platforms. In 2016, she founded NATIVE to re-imagine interactive visual storytelling through a more inclusive and revolutionary lens.

Laura was also the Head of Digital for World Press Photo, elevating the work of award-winning photographers and curating exhibitions around the globe. She has also previously held the title of Art Director for G-STAR RAW where she spearheaded the visual direction of the brand throughout their 2013 and 2014 campaigns. Furthermore, she worked as Photo and Art Editor for Art Amsterdam and Revolve Magazine, where she oversaw the development and definition of each organization's visual aesthetic and vision.

She allows for serendipity, always. Laura currently lives in Mexico City with her dog Aya and hopes to one day own at least two llamas.

Margarita Valdivieso / Magazine Manager

Margarita (she/her) is a Latina BIPOC. She is a Colombian photographer, artist, and activist based in Germany. In her artistic practice, she has worked with topics of gender, and Queer POC art and activism. She continues making work about the Colombian civil conflict, specifically exploring the topic of political violence and exile through my family history. Since 2020, she is a co-founder of the support group BIPOC YMR, and a member of the antiracist network of the same city: Weimar. In her practice as a photographer, she is interested in challenging the notion of power in photography and to work with de-colonial praxis of making images. She has curated artistic events for the 43 International salon of artists of Colombia and worked as the head of education programming for the MDE 15, the international art encounter of Medellin.

Shannon Elder / Managing Editor & Designer

Shannon Elder is a US-based editor, designer, and creative producer working at the intersection of social justice and the arts. Since 2018 she has overseen documentary photography projects as Managing Editor & Designer at Native. A Curatorial Leader of Future Front Texas, she helps produce programming and an annual community festival & exhibition for women and queer creatives.

Her personal work as a multidisciplinary artist includes collage, poetry, zine-making, and community-based storytelling projects. She was recently awarded a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation and the Institute for Diversity and Civic Life to develop a photo project about migration in Texas.

She received her BA in Cultural Studies & Creative Non-Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago in 2017. Her thesis examined colonial issues in photography and the importance of ethical visual storytelling as a tool of disruption. 

Tendai Marima / Community Program Manager

Tendai Marima is an independent journalist, photographer and researcher capturing the dynamic stories of the African everyday for the world. 

Born and raised in Zimbabwe she has degrees from the University of Cape Town, South Africa and Goldsmiths College, (University of London), UK. With experience covering East and Southern Africa, Tendai has over 5 years of professional journalistic experience. From South Sudan to South Africa, she has travelled the region covering a diversity of multimedia stories for international media including Al Jazeera, NPR, the New Humanitarian, the New York Times, the Guardian, the Mail and Guardian and African Business Magazine. She also works as a photographer for humanitarian agencies including Action Aid (UK) and Global Witness.

Native Agency

Platform highlighting visual storytellers from underrepresented regions -- Africa, Latin America, Middle East and Asia.
Website via Visura

Native Agency is integrated to:
Visura site builder, a tool to grow your photography business
Visura's network for visual storytellers and journalists
A photography & film archive by Visura
Photography grants, open calls, and contests
A newsfeed for visual storytellers