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.

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.

Shannon Elder / Managing Editor & Designer

Shannon Elder is a writer, editor, designer, and curator with a focus on art and social justice.

Since 2018 she has overseen various photography projects as the Managing Editor & Designer at Native. She’s currently Field Writer for Texas AFT, a union fighting for effective public education policy in the US. Previously she was Communications Manager for GirlForward, curating creative, community-based storytelling projects to center young female perspectives in national immigration narratives.

She's worked for Almost Real Things Magazine, the Creative Writing Department at Denver School of the Arts, and various advocacy organizations. She received her BA in Cultural Studies & Creative Non-Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago. Her thesis examined colonial issues in photography and the importance of ethical visual storytelling as a tool of disruption. Catch her making collages and eating tacos in Austin, Texas.

Kisha Ravi / Community & Engagement Editor

Kisha Ravi is a freelance photographer and photo editor raised + based in Bangalore, India. Kisha is a former National Public Radio (NPR) photo editor. She was also 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.

Liliana Cobos / Head of Education & Operations

Liliana Cobos is an expert in educational content development and teaching for the arts. She is currently working as Head Teacher at IMAGO Institute of Visual Arts in Mexico City and began working at Native Agency as Head of Education and Operations in 2020.

She has collaborated with various educational institutions teaching visual arts, cinema, and photography for more than 25 years. She studied Visual Arts at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas, obtaining “Early Initiation to Research” scholarship twice for Kati Horna analog photography laboratory.
 
She has ventured into various fields such as executive production of photographic sets, curatorial work, and design of museography and planning of photographic exhibitions - the most remarkable for Festival FotoMexico in 2019. She has participated in production and logistics of film festivals, sat on juries in national and international competitions, and organized massive events around photography with more than 3,000 visitors.

She was Director of Casa Coyoacan, headquarters of the Pedro Meyer Foundation, as well as Foto Museo Cuatro Caminos where she executed the coordination of the educational programs. Later, she joined the ranks of Canon Mexicana as Academic Supervisor at Canon Academy Mexico managing the operations of the school, the only one of its kind in the world.

She recently completed her Master's in Design of Spaces and Cultural Experiences at the Escuela Superior de Diseño de Barcelona, focusing on the design of experiential museum spaces.

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