THE LIT LIST: PHOTOGRAPHERS TO WATCH, EXHIBIT & HIRE

Jury: 2022

In the spirit of the Lit List’s mission, nominees will be have their work reviewed by a jury of their peers -- fellow artists who have committed their careers to uplifting emergent BIPOC talent in lens based industries. Moving forward, our juries will be primarily peer based as we work towards building a strong community of colleagues to build long-lasting careers with.

Emerald Arguelles is a photographer and editor based in Savannah, GA. With an audacious mentality, Emerald relentlessly creates a communal space for Black folx in the modern world. Through her contemporary photographic work,she acknowledges and honors the Black Community, alluding to the importance of cultural acceptance and appreciation that can be recognized for decades to come.  She is currently the Editor-In-Chief of Aint--Bad Magazine and a Photo Editor Intern for NBCUniversal.

Polly Irungu is multimedia journalist, digital editor, and self-taught photographer and the founder of Black Women Photographers, a global community and directory of Black women and non-binary photographers. Polly is also a Digital Content Editor at New York Public Radio (WYNC). As a photographer, Polly’s work has been published in numerous publications, including Global Citizen, NPR, BBC News, The Luupe, MEFeater, Refinery29, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed, CNN, HuffPost, OkayPlayer, and OkayAfrica.

Danielle A. Scruggs is  a photographer, photo editor, and writer living in Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from Howard University with a degree in journalism and from the Maryland Institute College of Art with a master’s degree in digital art. Danielle is a board member of Authority Collective,  a general member of Diversify.Photo and was a Women Photograph 2018-2019 mentor, all groups committed to creating equity and parity within the visual storytelling field. Danielle is currently a Global Picture Editor at Getty Images.

Savannah Wood is an artist and cultural organizer with deep roots in Baltimore and Los Angeles. As the Archives Director for the 128-year-old AFRO American Newspapers, and the Executive Director of Afro Charities, she creates programming and infrastructure to increase access to the AFRO's rich archives.

Jamala Johns is a New York-based Strategist and Creative Director. With 10+ years of advertising and marketing experience, Jamala is currently a Senior Strategist at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness. Jamala is also a noted content creator and social media influencer. Whether it be editing the ground-breaking beauty guide, le coil, or pinning to a half-million followers on Pinterest, she loves using social to share inspiration.

William Camargo is an arts educator, photo-based artist, and arts advocate from Anaheim, California. He is currently commissioner of heritage and culture for the City of Anaheim, and working toward an MFA at Claremont Graduate University, California. He is founder and curator of Latinx Diaspora Archives, an Instagram page that elevates communities of color through family photos.

Cheriss May is a lauded visual storyteller, president of Women Photojournalists of Washington, an Adobe Education Leader, and an adjunct professor at Howard University, her alma mater.  Cheriss is often commissioned to speak on diversity and inclusive storytelling. She has been published in O Magazine, Time, The White House Historical Association, and The New York Times, among others.

Yumna Al-Arashi is a Yemeni Egyptian American artist working with the image.

Whitney Matewe is a queer, Black photo editor at TIME Magazine based in New York. Prior to joining the photo department at TIME, they were a photo editor at National Geographic and The New Yorker. Whitney strives to explore the human experience and amplify the stories and perspectives of underrepresented voices and communities. Whitney has served on the jury of the Overseas Press Club and partnered with Women Photograph to curate a take over spotlighting works by Black and African-American women and non-binary photographers.

Adam Perez is an award-winning filmmaker, photographer, based in Los Angeles, CA whose work centers on intimate stories that expose the nuances of race, gender, identity, and culture.  He's currently an Emerson Fellow working on a photo and video project Pandemic In the Heartland about how the pandemic has devastated marginalized communities in California's Central Valley, which produces one-fourth of the country's food.

Daniella Zalcman is a Vietnamese American documentary photographer based in New Orleans. Her work tends to focus on the legacies of western colonization, from the rise of homophobia in East Africa to the forced assimilation education of Indigenous children in North America. She is the founder of Women Photograph, a non profit working to elevate the voices of women and nonbinary visual journalists. 

Zen Sekizawa has been working as a photographer, director and artist for over two decades in her hometown of Los Angeles, CA. She is second generation Angeleno and fourth generation Japanese American. Zen’s practice has grown into exploring, critiquing and acting on the intersection of art, politics and community care.

Rafael Soldi is a Peruvian­-born, Seattle-based artist and curator. His practice centers on how queerness and masculinity intersect with larger topics of our time such as immigration, memory, and loss. His first monograph, Imagined Futures / Futuros Imaginarios (Candor Arts) was published in 2020. He is the co-founder of the Strange Fire Collective and co-curator of the High Wall.

Oriana Koren is a photographer, researcher, and writer based in Los Angeles. They are the lead curator and creator of the Lit List photo award. Oriana is a founding member of the Authority Collective, a co-author of the Photo Bill of Rights, and a recent founding member of the Candor Collective.

Matt Austin designs, produces, and publishes artist books. He is interested in building anti-capitalist systems of care. He is the founder of Candor Arts, a publishing imprint and handmade book bindery from 2015–2021, and recently a founding member of the Candor Collective.

Ayanna Quint is a New York City based photo editor who has worked with a wide variety of publications, including Out Magazine, W, Teen People, The Atlantic and Modern Farmer. A native of California, she has a degree in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design but decided to become a photo editor after interning at Vibe with legendary photo director George Pitts. In 2018 she founded the photography consultancy, A Certain Quality and currently works with both editorial and commercial clients.

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Special Jury 

Our special jury consists of current Authority Collective board members  with the help of Lit List 2018 and 2020 alum. They were tasked with selecting our semi-finalists for our shortlist.

Dana Scruggs is a photographer and director, currently living and working in New York. At the early stages of her career, she launched SCRUGGS Magazine — a print publication dedicated to her vision of the male form. After self-assigning for almost six years, Dana was offered the opportunity to shoot ESPN’s Body Issue, which was her first breakthrough in the industry. Synonymously, Dana then became the 1st Black Female photographer to shoot an athlete for the Body Issue in its 10-year history. Since then, Dana has further broken down barriers in the industry by becoming the 1st Black person to photograph the cover of Rolling Stone  in its 50-year history.

Carmen Chan is a Los Angeles-based photographer and director committed to building an equitable and inclusive future through sharing stories about underrepresented artists and communities. She is a Program Manager at Diversify Photo and co-founded Fuck Gatekeeping, a knowledge base for emerging BIPOC photographers. Her client list includes Herman Miller, Soho House, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Cereal Magazine.

Jasmine Clarke is photographer born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Her practice focuses on identity, memory, and the surreal qualities of our waking world. She is a Lit List 2020 recipient, a Critical Mass 2020 Finalist, and a Palm* Photo Prize 2021 Finalist. Her work has been shown at Howard Greenberg Gallery, Photoville, the Photo Vogue Festival, Blue Sky Gallery, and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

Meron Menghistab is an Eritrean-American photographer working primarily in portraiture and narrative based work. Menghistab principal focus is to create images and stories that show the commonality between his subject and his viewers - a sense of community is important to his vision and is ever-present in his storytelling.

Hannah Yoon is a Korean Canadian freelance photographer based in Philadelphia. Her background is in photojournalism and documentary photography. She is interested in the way people relate to one another and curious about how history impacts the present. She is a proud member of Women Photograph, Diversify Photo and founding board member of the Authority Collective. She regularly contributes to the New York Times, WSJ, NPR and other national outlets.

Rebecca Aranda is a Mexican-American documentary photographer based in Los Angeles, with a focus on performance arts (film, TV, theatre) and educational organizations. They have shot a wide variety of live events and documentary work. Rebecca is proud to be a mentor with Las Fotos Project, working with teenage photographers in East LA. They are a founding member of the Authority Collective.

Ariel Zambelich is a freelance photojournalist and a Lead Photo Editor for the Wall Street Journal, where she collaborates to tell stories through photojournalism and design. She previously worked at The Intercept, NPR, and WIRED. She is a board member with the Authority Collective, an organization that amplifies the voices of female-identifying and nonbinary lens-based creators of color through community action. She is also a volunteer organizer with the Freelance Solidarity Project, a union for freelance media workers.

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