Sep 142019
 archive : 2019

Parallax: ReVisioning Queer and Trans People of Color in Photography

A panel discussion featuring the photographers and curators of the Authority Collective’s Parallax group show, sharing their perspectives on imaging the QTPOC experience.

Presenters: Mengwen Cao Elizabeth “Eli” Wirija Gabriel Garcia Roman Ka-Man Tse

Location: St. Ann’s Warehouse

Presented by:

  • The Authority Collective

Supported by:

  • PhotoWings
  • Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation

Photoville Talks at St. Ann’s Warehouse are produced by United Photo Industries and supported in part by PhotoWings and the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation.

A panel discussion featuring the photographers and curators of the Authority Collective’s Parallax group show, sharing their perspectives on imaging the QTPOC experience.

Presenter Bios

  • Mengwen Cao

    Mengwen Cao

    Mengwen Cao (they/them) is a photographer, artist, and educator. Born and raised in China, they are currently based in New York.

    As a queer immigrant, they use care and tenderness to explore spaces between race, gender, and cultural identity. As a board member of Authority Collective, they are championing diverse narratives and perspectives in the media industry.

    Their projects have been featured in publications like Aperture, the New York Times, NPR, Mashable, BUST, Foreign Policy, the Guardian, Sina, and Tencent. They have participated in international exhibitions like Photoville, Jimei x Arles, and Lianzhou Foto Festival.

    Cao graduated from the New Media Narratives and Documentary Practice program at the International Center of Photography. They received NLGJA’s Excellence in Photojournalism Award in 2019. They were recognized by The Lit List in 2018, PDN 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch in 2019, and World Press Photo 6×6 Asia Talent in 2020.

  • Elizabeth “Eli” Wirija

    Elizabeth “Eli” Wirija is a photographer and creative originally born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. Currently based in New York. She obtained a B.F.A from School of Visual Arts. She is fully well-versed in different avenues of photography including but not limited to fashion, documentary and commercial. She strives to continually uplift her people and other groups to level the playing field since there are certain preventative structures in our current society.

  • Gabriel Garcia Roman

    Gabriel Garcia Roman

    Gabriel Garcia Roman was born in Zacatecas, Mexico and raised in Chicago’s northwest side. He received his Bachelor of Arts from The City College of New York where he studied studio art. Garcia is a photo-based artist and craftsman exploring identity through printmaking, fiber arts, and woodworking.

    His work has been shown at the International Center of Photography (ICP), Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the Museum of Latin American Art, and Galeria de la Raza, to name a few. He is part of ICP’s permanent collection. Gabriel is a 2018 recipient of National Association of Latino Arts & Culture’s artist grant.

    Most recently, he brought his Queer Icons series to the streets of New York City, where he collaborated with the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art to create a monumental procession of 100 of his images for World Pride 2019.

  • Ka-Man Tse

    Ka-Man Tse

    Ka-Man Tse is an artist and educator. She received a Master of Fine Arts from Yale University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Bard College. She has exhibited at the Lianzhou Foto Festival in Guangdong, China, at Para Site in Hong Kong, the WMA Masters Exhibition, Transition, at Videotage Hong Kong, the Museum of Chinese in America in New York, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, and the Palm Springs Art Museum.

    She has mounted solo shows at Aperture in New York CIty, Lumenvisum in Hong Kong, and the Silver Eye Center for Photography in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is the recipient of the 2014 Robert Giard Fellowship, a 2017-2018 Research Award from the Yale University Fund for Lesbian and Gay Studies (FLAGS), and the 2018 Aperture Portfolio Prize. She was chosen as a 2019 Artist Residence at Light Work in Syracuse. Her monograph, narrow distances was published by Candor Arts in 2018. She teaches at Parsons.


  • The Authority Collective

    The Authority Collective

    The Authority Collective is a group of womxn, non-binary, and gender expansive people of color, reclaiming our authority in lens-based visual media. As professionals in the photography, film, and VR/AR industries, our mission is to empower artists with resources and community, and to take action against systemic and individual abuses, in the world of lens-based visual work. Our goal is to remove barriers to access for BIPOC entering editorial, journalism, documentary, commercial, and fine art careers.

    The Authority Collective connects our community members with job, mentorship, networking, and professional development resources. We look to shift the power dynamic in traditional and independent media, so that the stories we tell, represent the true diversity of our world. We are establishing our power, to set standards that challenge colonial narratives, and the notions of success.

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