Freelance photojournalist, visual storyteller, and...
Photo by Ana María Buitrón

Freelance photojournalist, visual storyteller, and educator based in Quito, Ecuador. I have researched and documented topics related to human rights, social justice, environment, education, gender, and sociopolitical conflicts. I am a versatile communicator with great organizational and leadership skills, as well as the ability to work under pressure in hostile environments. I have conducted photo reports on natural disasters, riots, and social demonstrations, sexual violence, torture clinics for LGBTIQ+ individuals, national elections, and prison massacres. I have also documented rural communities opposing mining and oil extraction projects, as well as indigenous peoples fighting to reclaim their ancestral territories after being displaced by political conflicts. In Ecuador and Argentina, I have supported the efforts of feminist groups to achieve rights regarding abortion. 

Member of: Women Photograph, Diversify Photo, Strategic Agenda and Association of Ecuadorian Photographers  

From 2019 to the present, I have been working as a freelance photographer and videographer for international agencies and NGOs such as Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, UN Women, IOM, UNHCR, Teach for All, Amnesty International, Amazon Frontlines, Conservation International, and Human Rights Watch.


- Bachelor’s Degree in Photography from the University of Palermo, Argentina (2013).
- Diploma in Research and Documentary Photographic Conservation from the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at the University of Buenos Aires (2014).
- Master’s Degree in Education, Languages, and Media from the National University of San Martín (2015).


- MUFF International Photography Festival, Montevideo Photography Center, Uruguay, 2022.
- Women Creating Landscapes, PHOTO OXFORD FESTIVAL, Oxford, UK, 2021.
- Cuerpos Cuerdas: Women’s Art Encounter Ecuador, Alianza Francesa, Quito, 2021.
- Visualizing Climate Change, COP26, Glasgow, Scotland, 2021.
- Love and Politics: How to Live Together, Valparaíso International Photography Festival, Chile, 2021.
- Brazil Emerging Art Prize 2019, Contemporary Art Center, Quito, 2020.
- Education through WhatsApp (Fluxus Foto), Photoville Festival, New York, 2020.
- Transitory Narratives, NO-LUGAR Contemporary Art Gallery, Quito, 2019.
- MAPPA by Cátedra de Café, Fundación Un Lugar Aparte, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2018.

- Finalist of the Eco-Enfoque 2023 award, organized by the Embassy of Spain in Ecuador.
- Finalist of the Jorge Mantilla Ortega 2022 award in the category of photojournalism for the coverage “Landslide and floods in Ecuador’s capital kill 24”.
- Winner of the 2022 Arts, Culture, and Innovation Development Fund in the Mobility category, awarded by the Institute for Arts and Innovation Promotion.
- Shortlisted for the This is Gender (In)Equality 2021 award for the work “Educating Women”.
- Winner of the Jorge Mantilla Ortega 2020 award in the category of photojournalism for the work “Education through Whatsapp” (collective work).
- Fellow of the MUFF-joint paths program 2020-2022 by the Center of Photography of Montevideo.
- Grantee of the National Geographic Society’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Journalists in 2020, a collective work with Fluxus Foto.
- Finalist of the IV Edition of the Brazil Emerging Art Award 2019 for the project “Belén 1987-2016”.


2022 - 2023 Producer, retoucher, and text editor for the exhibition and book by Johanna Alarcón: “Cimarrona: I am Black because the sun looked at me.”
2020 - 2022 Producer and field assistant for the project “Cimarrona: Free Women, Free Communities” by Johanna Alarcón.
2022 Documentary project coordinator “Guayaquil: Understanding Systemic and Cascading Risks: Learnings from COVID-19” for the United Nations University.
2022 Coordinator of the project “La Ortiga Rodante”, communication and photography tools for migrant women and transgender individuals. Quito and Lago Agrio. IOM and La Periódica.
2021 Coordinator and producer for photographic and audiovisual documentation of the project “My Future is Today”, for La Incre Agency and ILO.
2021 Teacher of the university training course “Subjective Documentary Photojournalism”. Faculty of Philosophy and Letters - UBA  
2020 Photographer for Plan International in the Covid-19 program of the GFFO (German Federal Foreign Office).  2020 Coordinator and workshop leader at the 5th Ethnographic Film Festival of Ecuador.
2019 Trainer in the workshop “Journalistic Photography for Social Networks” for ASU UTOPÍA magazine at Universidad Politécnica Salesiana.
2019 Workshop coordinator and trainer for “Management of Photography and Life Stories with a Focus on a Culture of Peace and Human Mobility” for the Scalabrinian Mission of Ecuador.
2017 - 2019 Digital Pedagogical Facilitator at School 16 DE 1 for the Operational Management of Incorporation of Technologies - INTEC, Ministry of Education of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.
2017 - 2022 Online tutor in the Undergraduate Diploma “Social Photography: The Camera as a Tool for Social Research” for the agreement between the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters University of Buenos Aires and Sholem College.
2018 - 2019 “Mala memoria: Diario de un fotógrafo” (Daniel Merle). Part of the editorial team, data collection, editing and proofreading of texts. Published in Buenos Aires (Argentina).
2017 - Present. Photo editor and photographer in La Periódica, digital magazine of feminist journalism.
2014 - 2016 Photography assistant, print manager, and professional retoucher at Lowry FineArt, specializing in fine art reproduction and printing. Collaborated with artists, photographers, museums, galleries, and institutions.


2023 Workshop on Narrative Journalism in Critical Situations and Humanitarian Response. Espacio Angular and USAID.
2022 HEFAT - Journalist Safety Training, delivered by Reuters and Key Objectives, Guatemala.
202Data Journalism for Transparency and Accountability. International Center for Journalists.
2021  Guayungas Hub Laboratory: Professionalization and Self-Management for Artists.
2020 Investigative Journalism with a Focus on Human Rights, GK.
2019 Women Photograph Workshop - Latin America Edition. Portfolio review, talks, editing workshops, digital presence, pitching, training in risk situations.
2019 Seminar “Contemporary Art as a Figure of Action.” Curatoría Forense.


- The Year Time Stopped: The Global Pandemic in Photos, Harper Collins 2022.
- The Washington Post: Landslide and floods in Ecuador's capital kill 24.- Frontpage of Human Rights Watch Report of Ecuador: ¿Por qué me quieren volver hacer sufrir?- The Guardian, Enduring and Surviving the climate crisis in pictures.
- Catalog of the IV edition of the Brazil Emerging Art Award at the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Quito.- Toro Aguilar, K. A., Aiello, M., Álvarez, D. V., López , A., & Suárez, V. (2020). Five approaches to the "Cátedra de Café" experience. Index, Contemporary Art Magazine, (10), 231-246.
- Photographs at Ecuador la insurrección de octubre /Boaventura De Sousa Santos ... [et al.]. - 1a ed.- Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires: CLACSO, 2020.
- Editor of “Mala Memoria. Diario de un Fotógrafo” by Daniel Merle. ArtexArte Editions, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2019. ISBN: 978-987-46951-8-5
- Research and archive organization for “Itinerancy” by Viviana Zargón, Aluna Art Foundation, Buenos Aires Argentina, 2019. ISBN: 9789878609836
- Digital publication: photographs selected to integrate the Fotozine “Marea Verde” curated by Gisela Volà, Maya Goded and Ana Casas Broda, designed by Verónica Borsani. Eighth Argentine Biennial of Documentary Photography of Tucumán, 2018.
- Retouching of photographs in “Viviana Zargón” by Zargón, Viviana. Editorial SIGMAR, Argentina, 2016. ISBN 9789873391170.- Pallets of Life / A PuraVida project (Ed. 2016) Photograph of the works of art published in the book.
- “Rethinking Paulo Freire: The practice of freedom" in Writings of the Faculty No. 84. Pedagogical reflection. Buenos Aires 2013. ISSN: 1669-2306
- "Claude Cahun: another looks at self-representation"; "Photography and the industrial project of devices"; and series of photographs: “Puro Azar”, in Trascámara, the image thought by photographers [theoretical practices from the place of creation]. Alex Schlenker edition. Quito 2013. ISBN 978-9942-13-064-8.
- "Marie Louise Alemann, pioneer of Argentine experimental cinema" Creation and Production in Design and Communication. Essays on the image. Year 9. Number 48. September 2012. Buenos Aires. ISSN 1668-5229.- "1200 Descent" Young Research and Communication Projects, Center for Studies and Production in Design and Communication, Book 29. June 2010, ISSN 1668-5229.
- "La fotografía espírita", Diploma in Documentary Photographic Research and Conservation, Faculty of Philosophy and Letters - University of Buenos Aires, 2014.
- "Rimbaud en la ciudad de la furia. Un tributo a la obra de David Wojnarowicz", 2011.
- "Un Quijote Moderno", Universidad de Palermo, 2012.- "Las cosedoras: la relación pedagogía/cultura en el Ecuador de los 40s", Universidad Nacional de General San Martín, 2015.




Karen Toro

Artist, photographer, and educator based in Ecuador.
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