Joana Toro Colombian is a self-taught photographer based in both New York City and Bogota, Colombia. Her work explores issues of immigration, human rights and identity and was featured on The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Smithsonian Magazine, Open Soicety Foundations, Photoword China Magazine, and Refinery29, amongst others.

She worked as a staff photographer with the major magazines and newspapers in Colombia before she migrated to the United States in 2011 to further her career as a documentarian and artist. In 2014 she published her first monograph, Masked (oodee, London, 2014) which is sold out. Masked was inaugurated in an exhibition at the Galería Valenzuela Klenner in Bogotá.

She continuously works to develop her work and has received Scholarships for the Missouri Photo Workshop mpw.68, Native Agency Festival and was part of the Mentoring Program 2018 by James Estrin and Ed Kashi.

Her work is included in various collections in Latin America Photography: ai-ap Latin American Photography and En Foco. It has been exhibited in international photo festivals all over the globe: Photoville New York, GuatePhoto, Just another Festival India, International Photography festival Pingyao China, and more.


I Am Hello Kitty (Tragaluz Editores, Medellín, 2018-2019)

Masked (oodee, London, 2014)   


Selected Presentations

2019  Les Femes S’exposent artist talk, Houlgate, June 6-11 France

2019  Baruch college artist talk Journalism department

2017 “Foto-feminas: Latina photographers” Bronx Documentary Center

2017 “Translatina” artist talk Ojo Rojo Fabrica Visual

2017  “ La mujer como objeto y sujeto en la fotografia” workshop facilitator OjoRojo Fabrica Visual  Bogota 

2016 “Dressing Room” artist talk, International Center of Photography, Documentary and Photojournalism Program 

2015  “I Am Hello Kitty” artist talk, ICP community programs

2015  “I Am Hello Kitty” artist talk, En Foco New Photography Fellowship #18, Bronx Documentary Center,  NYC

2015  “The Art of Seeing” artist talk, Nathan Cummings Foundation, NYC, 

Selected Exhibitions

2019 Serie Colombia On My Mind exhibit at Forum Mondial Normandie pour la paix 75 anniversary

2019 Les Femes S’exposent Grupal exhibition, Houlgate, June 6-11 France

2019 NoMAA (Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance) Women in the Heights - Creating for Change group exhibition,NYC

2018 Neighborhood Anthems, NoMAA (Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance)  at New York Presbyterian Hospital,

2018  Contemporary stories of Latina Photographers, group exhibition Paseo de las Artes, Universidad Autonoma de  Nayarit, Septiembre, Mexico

2018  Lumix Festival. Germany 2018  Native group exhibition

2018  Nothing Left to be saved Instytut Fotografii Fort in Warsaw Poland.

2018  Locuars exhibition“Traslatina” Caelum Gallery, Chelsea New York

2018 Fuerza Fest Queer Latino festival Julia de Burgos theater, New York

2018 Women of the Heights-Resistance Rio II Gallery, New York

2017 “Masked” Conception Art Show, New York

2017 “Masked” nee-bex  contemporary art gallery, Bogota

2017 “I Am Hello Kitty” Transizioni photo-slides  festival, Bergamo Italy

2016 “I Am Hello Kitty” Pingyao China, International Photography festival

2016  “I Am Hello Kitty” projection, San José international photography festival

2015  “I Am Hello Kitty” projection, Photoville photo festival, New York

2015  “I Am Hello Kitty”,  GuatePhoto photography festival,  Guatemala

2015  “I Am Hello Kitty” multimedia projection, SLIDELUCK, Bogota, Colombia / Los Angeles, USA / Bali, Indonesia/ Hong Kong

2015  “I Am Hello Kitty”, Bronx Documentary Center,  Bronx, NY

2014  “Masked”, gallery: Galería Valenzuela Klenner, Bogotá

2009   “Masked”,  Palacio Nariño,  Bogotá

2003   Fotomuseo, outdoor group exhibition, Bogota

Selected Publications 

Interview World Press Photo Digital magazine Witness  April 4, 2019

Translatinas in The New York Times November  21, 2018

“Guyana Oil” Wall Street Journal June 26, 2018

“Where everybody knows your nombre” New York Times ,Lens and  Panorama Album, May 24,

2018 Interview B&H Explora project 28 November 2018 

Interview Street Photography Magazine 22 Junio 2018 

Interview Candid Frame April 8 2018

“Venezuelan Exodo” Wall Street Journal 

“I am Hello Kitty” Photoword China

“Venezuela women in labor cross to 
Colombia to give to Colombia”, Wall Street Journal

“Dressing Room -Translatina”,  New York Times Lens (online publication)

“Dressing Room -Translatina”, New York Times Sunday Edition, Panorama

“I Am Hello Kitty”,  New York Times Lens (online publication)

“I Am Hello Kitty”, New York Times Sunday Edition, Panorama,Album 

“I Am Hello Kitty” New York Times International Edition

“I Am Hello Kitty”, Open Society Foundations (Instagram


“Translatina”, Open Society Foundations (Instagram feed)

“I Am Hello Kitty”, Time Lightbox (mention in online articule about documentary photography) 

“I Am Hello Kitty”, Refinery29 (online publication Interview)

“I Am Hello Kitty” Nueva Luz  photographic journal volume 19:1 

“I Am Hello Kitty” Bird in flight International photo magazine (online publication) 

“I Am Hello Kitty” p3 Portugal Portugal mayor newspaper (online publication)

“I Am Hello Kitty” Foto féminas (online publication)

 “Midwives of Buenaventura” AI-AP Dispatches from Latin America (online publication Interview)

 “Midwives of Buenaventura” Etica Segura Fundacion Nuevo Periodismo Gabriel Garcia marquez Women into photojournalism (online publication Interview) 

“Midwives of Buenaventura” Etiqueta Negra Peruvian Magazine


Joana Toro Documentary Photographer

Joana Toro is a Colombian documentary photographer. working on immigration, Identity and social issues.
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