Our creative labs, festivals and workshops are an...

Our creative labs, festivals and workshops are an opportunity to celebrate local, regional and international visual heritage and learn how to break away from established colonial gazes while learning visual heritage to tell personal visual stories effectively.

The labs consist of two elements: inspiration and action: working, editing and developing your own work as a participant. The labs are led by Laura Beltrán Villamizar (NPR/Native) in collaboration with additional facilitators that change based upon location. 

Inspiration: Native wants connect its storytellers in a space where we can discuss creative ways to approach stories, develop ideas on how to reclaim spaces that are not representative of us and learn the best practices on how to use technology, audio and video to communicate stories effectively. Understanding photography as a colonial practice, along with its power dynamics, will be the basis of this lab.

Native wants participants to see their work printed and not only on screen. Young photographers have hardly ever edited or seen their work in print, so working with prints is a crucial aspect of the workshop.
We actively work with everyone's images by providing feedback on how to edit stories and why. We will discuss local and regional narratives and what works best for different audiences. The Action element invites participants to look at each other’s work and critically learn how to read and elaborate visual stories. 

Other topics often covered in our workshops include: race and representation, photography as a colonial practice, how to work with editors and pitch stories effectively, grant and contest best practices, as well as the importance of personal voice.

Changing Planet: An Exhibition | Berlin, Germany | March - May 2021 

In collaboration with Grün Berlin, Native represents four photographers from Latin America taking part in this exhibition as a commitment to elevate themes that are crucial to our survival as a species. The exhibit is currently being shown at Ausstellungszentrum Pyramide in Berlin Hellersdorf, New School of Photography, and online in a digital format. Eventually it will transition to travel internationally.

Changing Environment: A Digital Exhibition | Berlin, Germany | June 2020

In collaboration with Grün Berlin, Native presented an exhibit exploring the work of six Latin American Native photographers under the theme of a "Changing Environment" in a digital format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Territory & Environment: An Exhibition | Berlin, Germany | August 2019

In collaboration with Grün Berlin, this exhibit explored how territory can be explained as a physical line, a spiritual space or a mental state, while the environment touches on notions of climate and our relation to how it's changing. Both themes, territory and environment, were taken to infinite interpretations.

Women’s Media Leadership Bootcamp | Naivasha, Kenya | January 2019 

In collaboration with the International Women’s Media Foundation and WAN-IFRA. Sarah Waiswa and Alison Baskerville joined as co-facilitators. 

Creative Lab | Lagos, Nigeria | August 2018 

In collaboration with African Artists’ Foundation, Blink and the International Women’s Media Foundation. 

Lumix Festival | Hannover, Germany | June 2018 
An exhibition of select images representing the work of Native photographers from the regions we represent. These are stories that matter to us, told from our points of view. We offer a plethora of stories from Bolivia, to Singapore and from El Salvador to China.

Native Documentary Photo Festival | Quito, Ecuador | March 2017

In collaboration with the International Women’s Media Foundation and Colegio de Comunicación y Artes Contemporáneas del Universidad San Francisco de Quito


“It was a relief to discover that some of the issues I faced in the industry as an African journalist and photographer were also faced by my peers, it’s good to know you’re not alone or imagining things. One of the most important things I walked away with is that we have to stay woke to how produce visual narratives about the Continent, the world we live in and about our ourselves. It's up to us to challenge distorted narratives and we shouldn't be scared to take on the 'big names' in the photography industry for fear of what may happen to our budding careers because a worse fate is have the same distorted narratives will continue to be reproduced and the same privileged voices will continue to speak on behalf of us.” 
Tendai Marima, Freelance Journalist, Zimbabwe

“Some places, people and experiences change us. They come out of nowhere and restructure the very fibre of our beings. It's hard to fully express what an incredible impact the Women's Media Leadership Bootcamp in Kenya had on me as an individual and a self-taught storyteller. Not in terms of how to use a camera, but how to think about photography as a practice. A lot of necessary un-learning and re-learning took place during that week. I was guided by the team of facilitators to discover and define my unique voice.

Of great importance - I was taught how to be critical about my own work but in the same breath how to be gentle with myself. It really shifted things for me and to have shared that experience with 15 bad ass female photographers from the African continent was perfect. The relationships that were formed during the week in Kenya naturally developed into a community of incredible photographers at different places in their career that I can reach out to for advice and share experiences and ideas. The guidance I received during the workshop really pushed my work to the next level and I wish that all emerging photographers could have access to such an enriching space at least once in their careers.
Lee-Ann Olwage, Visual Storyteller, South Africa 

“Getting to learn from women visual storytellers has been nothing short of inspirational. Thank you to Laura, Sarah and Alison for leading such poignant workshops. A huge thank you to The IWMF and Native for supporting us. I left bootcamp inspired by all the badass women photojournalists challenging the status quo by finding and making stories that matter.” 
Tracy Keza, Multi-Media Artist and Photographer, Rwanda

“Table-shakers. Last night of the Women’s Media Leadership Bootcamp which was a jam-packed couple of days surrounded by a diverse group of badass women visual journalists. The workshop was led by Sarah, Alison and Laura on developing our stories, breaking away from very present colonial and sexist approaches, self-awareness/care, dealing with stress/trauma (as much as we try to ignore this because we are ‘tough’) and looking at our own work critically.” 
Yagazie Emezi, Documentary Photographer, Nigeria 
Workshops, Exhibitions & Festivals  
Workshops, Exhibitions & Festivals  
Workshops, Exhibitions & Festivals  

Native Agency

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