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Location: Amsterdam
Biography: Native Foundation While the journalism and documentary industry struggle with issues of diversity and representation, Native wants to change visual journalism to be representative of diverse talent from across the globe.  We connect emerging... MORE
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Open Letter to Native's Community
native agency
Jan 22, 2021
Who we partner with matters. In November, the team at Native Agency chose to partner with PHOTO IS:RAEL for an online international photography festival. This was not a decision made with all photographers in our collective, the decision was made by Native’s management team. We (leadership) should have presented this partnership to the group in order to make a collaborative decision and we should have declined the invitation.

We fully acknowledge and agree with the recent criticism that found this partnership to be in conflict with our mission. It was by no means our intent to normalize any of Israel’s actions, specifically those of erasure, and for that we apologize.

Native does not support the Israeli state’s abhorrently oppressive actions towards the Palestinian people.

Diverse perspectives are essential for the industry to create change that is inclusive, powerful, and revolutionary. Colonizer powers within the media landscape must be held accountable for their choices that directly affect representation.

We chose to participate in the panel to push the boundaries of what “social change through photography” means by deliberately recognizing that Palestinians, along with other internationally underrepresented communities, were not at the table that day.

We have listened to our community, in and outside of Native, and will be taking these actions moving forward to hold ourselves responsible to those we serve and to ensure the voices of everyone in our community are heard:

  • We will be more deliberate in taking time to critically consider and look into every potential partnership.

  • We will ensure all decisions affecting the agency are made collectively with our photographers.

  • We will seek to work with more Palestinian-based photographers and organizations.

We value each and every member of our community and appreciate those who have challenged us by raising their concerns. We encourage dialogue and look forward to improving our work in collaboration with you.

Sincerely,

Native Management Team 
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