Each year, the Authority Collective will focus on select projects to support marginalized artists in photography, film and VR/AR, whether they’re emerging or established. These projects will include community events like a PoC-centered photo conference, professional development and mentorship opportunities, consulting services and training for industry leaders and allies, accountability initiatives and more. Projects will also be crowdsourced by our community to ensure we are working side-by-side artists and not on behalf of them.


March 12, 2019
An Open Letter to The Magenta Foundation from the Authority Collective, Natives Photograph and Women Photograph

It came to our attention, as organizations previously affiliated with the Flash Forward competition jurying process, that Toronto-Dominion (TD) Bank — connected to the Dakota Access Pipeline project as part of a lending syndicate — is a major funder of The Magenta Foundation. This is disappointing because of the pain and violence Indigenous communities were subjected to as a result of the pipeline project, which was made possible by the support of lending banks. We want to use this letter to address our concerns about this partnership and to offer potential solutions. We think The Magenta Foundation can do better as an industry leader and set an example for other photo organizations.

December, 2018

Recently, Sony announced its winners of the inaugural Alpha Female Creator-in-Residence Program. While there was some effort at diversity among the five awarded photographers, the results failed to consider key aspects of what is destructive in photography today. In response, the Authority Collective wrote an open letter to address problematic practices among camera companies and came up with actionable steps these companies and photo organizations can take. Help us put pressure on these folks in our industry to hear our concerns and take action!



April 26-28, May 2-5, 2019 
PARALLAX - Photoville LA
Featuring: Mengwen Cao, Naima Green, Melinda James, Nancy M. Musunguzi, Tara Pixley, Charmaine Poh, Gabriel Garcia Roman, Tia Thompson, Ka-Man Tse, Brian Vu, Justin J Wee, Elizabeth Wirija, Salgu Wissmath
Curated By Mengwen Cao & Tara Pixley

This series of photographic and filmic portraits of queer people of color grows from a simple inquiry, a desire to envision the theoretical as material: What is queer? What experiences and bodies are obscured by certain notions of queerness writ large in the cultural imagination?To “queer” has gradually become an academic catchphrase, a call-to-arms and an intervention intended to destabilize normalcy.

“Queer” is many things to many people across various contexts. As such, the queer lived experience is beyond blurred. It now signals intersections of gender, sexuality, race, (dis)ability and various other modes of being. Yet, certain racial and gendered embodiments have achieved their own level of “normalcy,” rewriting what LGBTQIA is in their own image, adjusting the social lens to keep themselves primarily in focus.

A parallax is the effect whereby the position or direction of an object appears to differ when viewed from different positions. By portraying individuals who occupy the intersection of queer embodiment and blackness/brownness, who defy the accepted binaries of gender and sexuality, these portraits provide a rare, alternate view of the contemporary queer experience.

*Walking Tour with Mengwen Cao, Authority Collective on April 28, 2019


August, 2018
THE LIT LIST: 30 Under-the-radar photographers

Conceived during an Instagram DM exchange between Laylah Barrayn, Tony Luong, Oriana Koren, and Elias Williams, the Lit List is committed to recognizing the outstanding work of photographers who are womxn, femmes, trans, non-binary people of color, or otherwise marginalized artists. Simply put, no heteronormative, cisgender white dudes allowed — there are other lists for that. The Lit List is a response to the consistent lack of accolades and recognition of demonstrated talent of marginalized people in the photography industry. Nominations will come from other photographers as well as photo editors, reps, and visual, art and creative directors, while the jury consists of a mix of often overlooked decision-makers of color, established decision-making allies, and art critics of color.  List drops August 2018.
Work by the 30 photographers will exhibit at Photoville NYC 2018.


NYC pre-portfolio review meetup

WHEN: March, 29, 2019 | 5pm-9pm
WHERE: PhotoShelter, NYC
COST: Free with RSVP

An evening of community building, and resource and strategy-sharing with fellow women/non-binary/trans folks of color working in lens-based visual media. From 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, 3/29, at the PhotoShelter space in NYC’s Union Square, we’ll go over portfolio review tips, discuss our experiences navigating the industry, share work with each other, and more. Afterwards, we’ll decompress with friends and colleagues at Cafe Erzulie in Brooklyn.


WHEN: Sunday, April 15, 2018 | 2:30pm-3:30pm
WHERE: LINE Hotel Los Angeles, 3515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010
COST: Free with RSVP

There's a lot of talk about inclusivity but what does it really mean to create equity and fairness in the photo and video industry? Join our esteemed panel for a robust discussion about creating actionable paths to an inclusive industry that uplifts and supports marginalized artists in lens-based media. A Q+A will follow allowing emerging photographers to participate in open dialogue with decision makers. Los Angeles based image makers Lauren Crew, Devyn Galindo, and Melinda James joined by Emma Reeves, founder of Free The Bid and former photo director of Dazed & Confused and Danielle Scruggs, photo editor at ESPN’s Undefeated. Moderated by Tara-Lynne Pixley, Nieman Fellow and freelance photo editor.

Authority Collective

The Authority Collective is a group of womxn, femmes, trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming people of color reclaiming their authority in the photography, film and VR/AR industries.
Website via Visura

Authority Collective is connected to:
Visura site builder - build the best photography websites
Visura's network for visual storytellers
A photography & film archive by Visura
Photography grants, open calls, and contests
A newsfeed for visual storytellers