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

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

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

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

2017 “I Am Hello Kitty” “Transizioni" photo-slides and narration 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 international photo festival,  New York

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

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, New York.

2014  “Masked”, gallery: Galería Valenzuela Klenner, Bogotá (Colombia)

Selected Publications 

“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 feed)

“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