Meet the photographers, film makers, zine creators, collage artists, fashion designers of the Necia Media Collective!

Young Mexican-Puerto Rican photographer from Chicago capturing the beauty around me without forgetting why it's beautiful

From and based in Chicago, IL. 

Born in the Southwest side of Chicago to generations of artists by way of San Luis Potosi, Mercedes Zapata is a painter and photographer with an interest in the intersectionality of the female body and nature. An alumni of Chicago Archdiocese Catholic Schools, Zapata aims to dismantle notions of respectability politics regarding sexuality and femininity. In specific, Zapata is interested in how womyn of color in Chicago manifest their unique narrative of sexualidad, self-love, and body positivity in her acrylic and photographic portraits.

Currently, Zapata resides in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood and is continuing to find inspiration for her art.

From and based in Chicago, IL. 


Maira Nolasco is a filmmaker and photographer. She's studied everything from anthropology, studio arts, human rights to documentary filmmaking. All of these concentrations have influenced her current work which focus on feminism, women of color, social justice and of course film making. When she's not busy freelancing in NYC she dedicates her time and soul to her blog Sonic Feminista, a media platform where we can see what’s going on with feminist collectives, communities, and profiles of those that are currently leading the way.

Based in New York City. 

they/them - she/her

I'm a visual artist who was born and raised on the east coast. I received my BFA from Moore college of Art & Design in Philadelphia, recently received my MA from the University of Wisconsin Madison and in May I will have my MFA from the University of Wisconsin Madison. My work deals with the dehumanization of Black & Brown folks. I use #PhantomNegro, a shape shifting, gender shifting, time traveling being as a vehicle to discuss this constant war on Black& Brown bodies. I also use #PhantomNegro as a tool to change the narratives we are oversaturated with as a way to cope with melancholy and create a more utopic world. My work is installation and performance based, I paint, collage, do printmaking and work with sound in these performances and installations.

From NJ, Currently in Madison, WI, Moving to Oakland in Aug 2016.




they/them - she/her

Patsy Díaz is an art educator, designer, and creator of all things love. With a graphic design education and a growing awareness of politically engaged art, she developed her identity as a Xicana. Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, this positionality propelled her to apply knowledge to her lived experiences—the same experiences that ignited a resilient and heart-driven life. Patsy recognizes the urgency and importance of art as a tool for social change and the impact it can have for herself and the communities she belongs to. Patsy recently earned an MA in Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Passionate about teaching and learning, she continues to explore identity-based art-making and storytelling with middle school youth throughout Chicago. Currently, Patsy is committed to the creation of autonomously driven and alternative spaces, such as healing circles by and for womyn of color, which cultivate the ground for self-development and self-determination for young womyn.

Born, raised and currently based in the Southside of Chicago. 


I am a well rooted first generation Xicana living in East Los Angeles. I am guerrillera born from my Jalisciense mother and my Sinaloense father. I am a business owner, an artist, a writer, a traveler, occasional photographer, mental health advocate, and above all an unapologetic strong mujer. C/S.

Born, raised and currently based in East Los Angeles, California. 


Jihan Hafiz is an award-winning independent journalist and documentary filmmaker. Over the past seven years, she has covered some of the world's biggest news events in Latin America, the Middle East and austerity-stricken countries in Europe. A majority of her work focuses on social justice, government corruption and women’s rights.  During the Arab Spring, she reported on women and girls breaking boundaries in male-dominated societies.  While covering the Egyptian revolution, she featured women fighters, workers, revolutionaries, artists, medics, mothers and actresses protesting Egypt’s military regime. While living in Egypt and witnessing sexual assault, Jihan started a series called ‘GenderWars’ documenting women using violence as self-defense. Jihan’s documentation of Libyan women during the uprising in Benghazi was nominated for a Rory Peck Award as best documentary in 2011.  While reporting in Brazil, she did a photo series of Afro-Brazilian women in Salvador da Bahia and widely covered police violence in black communities and it’s impact on women and girls. Jihan won an Emmy in 2013 as a sound recordist for the HBO film about the Egyptian revolution "In Tahrir Square." In 2015, her film 'Fists Up! Fight Back! About black women leading the #BlackLivesMatter movement in Washington, DC., won a National Association of Black Journalists award for television feature for Al Jazeera America. She dedicates her work and passion to human rights and social justice. She speaks Brazilian Portuguese, Egyptian Arabic and English fluently. Jihan is based between Brazil and the Middle East.

Egyptian Samoan, raised between Washington D.C. and Cairo. Currently based in Brazil and India.


Daniela Riojas is a multi-media artist based out of San Antonio, TX, specializing in performance, photography, videography, and music. Her work deals in ritual-based reflective self-portaiture, decolonialism through performance, and a search for ancient vibrations through music. Daniela is the owner of local photography and media business, “ZaaZaa Productions,” voted Best Local Photographer by the SA Current in 2013. She studied English-Creative Writing at The University of San Antonio, TX, received her associates in Journalism from Northwest Vista College, and also attended the Vermont Studio Center Residency Program. She is a Surdna Foundation grant recipient, a current artist-in-residence at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center through the Artist Lab Program, and was recently awarded a grant from the Creative and Cultural Development Department of the City of San Antonio through the Artist Foundation for Media Arts. Daniela is the lead singer and composer for avant-garde electronic band, Femina-X.

Based in San Antonio, Texas.


Mengwen Cao is a freelance photographer and videographer based in Brooklyn, New York. Currently she is a New Media Narrative student at International Center of Photography. Mengwen used to be a multimedia intern at NPR's Austin affiliate station KUT/KUTX and former senior photographer at the Daily Texan (UT's award-winning newspaper). 

From Hangzhou, China and based in New York. 



I am a Chicana videographer and editor based in Phoenix, Arizona. Day to day, I am a video producer at Arizona State University. While not at my 9 to 5, I freelance videos for community organizations such as Puente Arizona, National Council Por La Raza, Arizona Worker Rights Center, NDLON, Tonatierra Son Jarocho Collective AZ to name some. I was the editor and videographer for the documentary Workers on the Rise that tells the story of the Arizona Worker Rights Center. Currently, I am working on building a film and wedding film company called Colibri Films with my Chicana sister Perla Farias-Portugal.  I enjoy running, traveling, capturing time-lapses, connecting with media folks, reading up on technology, community involvement and last but not least consuming lots of café con pan dulce! Viva la mujer!

From Lubbock, Texas and based in Phoenix, Arizona. 


My name is Brianna Raquel and I’m a Xicana from Dallas, Texas. Currently I’m attending Austin Community College under the education program. I love hanging out with my friends, catching up on chisme,and throwing BBQ kickbacks. I believe in creating safe spaces for dialogue, and preserving myself, my culture, and identity through painting and mixed media art. I believe the youth are our future and often I find myself diving head first into opportunities that often guide me to growth and adventure in many different communities. 

Perla is a photographer and videographer. Her background is in journalism and visual artistic concepts. She has a passion for social justice issues and the expression of people's struggles and triumphs through art. Her focus is in portraits & her current interests lie in marketing. She is driven by conceptual photography and integrating emotions through photographs.

Based in Phoenix, Arizona. 


Born in Bogota, Colombia, Laura X Moya is an emerging documentary filmmaker focusing on making films that cross borders of misconceptions. In 1991, she immigrated to the United States with her family at age eight. The experiences she witnessed from once living as an undocumented immigrant marked a profound sense of alienation. Moya is one of two students selected for the prestigious Tisch School of the Art’s Willard T.C. Johnson fellowship. Recipient of the Alan Documentary Award, as well as the 2014 & 2013 Lora Hays Documentary Award for her upcoming film WHAT THE LAND GAVE US. 2015 BFA in Film & TV Production at Tisch School of the Arts with a Minor in Latina/o Studies from New York University.

From Bogota, Colombia and based in Brooklyn, New York. 


Claudia Zapata is pursuing her Ph.D. at SMU in the RASC/a: Rhetorics of Art, Space and Culture Program in Art History. She received her B.A. and M.A. from University of Texas in art history, specializing in Pre-Columbian and U.S. Latino/Chicano art. From 2010 to 2014 she served as the Curator of Exhibitions and Programs at the Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin, Texas. Her recent projects include the co-founding of ChingoZine, a Latino art zine and Chingolandia, a Latino designer toy line as part of her Latino art collective, Puro Chingón Collective, LLC. Zapatahas curated over 30 exhibitions at the Mexic-Arte Museum and other Texas institutions on subjects such as the commercialization of the Day of the Dead holiday, Mexican dance masks, Contemporary Chicano art, lucha libre in popular culture and more. Her most recent publication acted as the main catalog essay for Margarita Cabrera’sUprooted Dreams, a recent Austin Art in Public Places installation using Oaxacan woodcarving to discuss cultural displacement. Her research interests include curatorial methodologies of identity-based exhibitions, Texas Neo-Chicanoism, exhibition design and people of color zines and designer toys.

From Austin and San Antonio, TX, currently based in Dallas, TX. 


Isabel grew up on the south side of San Antonio and received her degree from Texas State University in Design. She works often remotely from Texas with a small California-based digital media start up called Desmadre making dumb YouTube videos and illustrating for the bi-cultural audience. When she isn't working, she is drinking on a porch planning the next St. Sucia, a DIY zine she co-founded with Natasha Hernandez to be a print platform for Latina narratives and art. Isabel enjoys the simple things in life and never goes to bed the same day she wakes up. 

Based in San Antonio, TX

Beatriz Machado é  brasileira e reside na Zona Oeste do RJ e não dispensa uma boa xícara de café. Também é produtora na equipe West Gong Sound System e arte educadora na área de audiovisual. Dizem que ela é fotográfa também, pois vive a maior parte do tempo com uma camera na mão. E quando está sem camera em mãos usa só os olhos mesmo, pois acredita que a fotografia está muito além de meios mecânicos. Adora corpo e rua. Por isso, dedica parte da sua fotografia para movimentos culturais de rua, pois acredita na importância de se criar uma memória cultural da rua. E quando não está na rua, está fotografando corpos em suas várias formas e contradições.


Beatriz Machado is from the West Zone of Rio de Janeiro and never lets a good cup of coffee go to waste. She is also a producer on the team West Gong Sound System and art educator in the audiovisual field. They say she is a photographer too, because she has a camera in her hand most of the time. And when there is no camera in  her hand, she uses her eyes as as she believes that photography is far beyond mechanical means. She loves bodies and street. So she dedicates part of her photography to for cultural street movements because she believes in the importance of creating a cultural memory of the street. And when she's not on the street, she is photographing bodies in its various forms and contradictions.

From and based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 



Itzel Alejandra is a freelance photographer & multimedia producer based in Brooklyn, NY. She grew up next to the Franklin Mountains and in between the El Paso/Juarez border region. Itzel seeks to document her personal and social reality with saturation and hue.

From El Paso/Juárez and currently based in Brooklyn, NY. 



I'm a doer & maker from Minneapolis, born of a Bronx-raised Puerto Rican father and a North Dakotan-German mother, under a Gemini sun. I make prints, collages, party decorations, water color cards, and poems. I have a creative writing degree and am trained as a birth doula -- I love kids and babies. I also love music videos, snake plants, biking with no hands, my sisters, dancing, and the moon.

I’m a fashion-forward Xicana who was born and raised in the west corner city of Texas famously named El Paso. My photography, multimedia and mixed media creations is inspired by color blocks, precision, chaos, passion and untold life stories. Through these mediums I address personal experiences, comment on observed political statements, appreciate notes of modest human details, and take ownership of my own voice. Some of my work has been aimed towards challenging the eurocentric status quo of beauty while other pieces have focused on celebrating my own cultural roots--and some of my work may just be for the pure pleasure of laughs.As humans we are constantly growing and learning, and I feel as an artist it’s especially wonderful to be able to show that growth in your work. Therefore, I find myself pushing to create with no set aesthetic, but rather being open to addressing the situation/project will all doors open to possibilities.

From El Paso, TX and currently based in Austin, TX.


Yohanna Baez is an award winning writer, multi-media artist and documentary filmmaker- based in NYC. She is a first generation Dominican American, raised in Los Angeles. Her transmedia project won Best Screenplay at the 20th annual UrbanWorld Film Festival. Yohanna's experimental short documentary about tourism in Dominican Republic was accepted into a few film festivals and inducted into the CUNY's Dominican Studies Institute Library. She was also a participant in the Artist Summer Institute- a 5 day intensive professional development workshop for artists- presented by Creative Capital and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

Yohanna is interested in teaching in the future. Like her acupuncturist mother.

From the Dominican Republic, raised in Los Angeles, CA and based in New York, NY.



Somer Nowak is a traveler and activist.  She recently graduated with bachelor’s degree in International Affairs with concentration on Latin America, and minors in Spanish and Africana Studies.  She recently completed a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Minas Gerais, Brazil where she taught English and worked closely with a black feminist student organization, Coletiva Feminista Bonecas de Pixe on a photo campaign aimed toward empowering Afro-Brazilian women.  Her research experience has been focused on black women and identity in Latin America.   Some of her interests surround black feminism and black women’s role in social movements.  One of her greatest aspirations is to link black women of the diaspora together against state violence and other forms of oppression.  She also dreams of creating radical spaces for black girls are taught to love themselves, lead and resist.  

From Milwaukee, WI, studying in Minas Gerais, Brazil. 



I'm a Peruana studying International Studies and Sociology at Johns Hopkins University. I'm one of the founders and editors of La Liga Zine, an online platform that showcases the many ways latinxs in the diaspora/chicanxs/latin americans are dissecting their cultural identities through different creative mediums. I have a particular liking for writing and photography and I’m interested in exploring creative ways to, both, express myself and articulate social problems through artistic endeavors.

From Lima, Peru and currently based in Baltimore, MD. 



I am a writer, artist, creator, and sisterfriend from Milwaukee, WI, currently living in Madison, WI. My art & writing is reflective of my journey to womanhood, self-awareness, and self-love. Through my art, I hope to reach Black & Brown women around the world journeying to womanhood and empower them to use their own gifts to make peace within themselves.

From Milwaukee, WI and based in Madison, WI. 



Lauren is a capoeirsta based in Milwaukee, Wi. She creates through sewing, painting, bookmaking and embraces marginalized aspects of identity. She is inspired by the wonders of the world and constantly humbled to wake every day. She is a proud mother, life-long learner, and pursuing her doctorate in counseling psychology at the University of Wisonsin-Milwaukee to better serve communities of color through a social justice lens. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, based in Milwaukee, WI

Born in Taipei, Taiwan, based in Milwaukee, WI


Sara Zavaleta is a Salvadoran-American queer poet and photographer working towards her clinical social work career. She is a Masters student at UT Austin's Latin American Studies program and the School of Social Work. Her poetry discusses femininity, Guadalupe in all her forms, Latinidad, body horror, violence, and the rebirth that can follow trauma. Her photography captures both live music and social justice movements.

From and based in Austin, TX.





Elizabeth Fernanda Rodriguez is a Salvadoran-first generation American freelance painter and mixed media artist. She was born and raised in the DMV area in a primarily white city by her single mother. Growing up in a school system with a majority of 64% or higher of white people, she struggled with being proud of her identity and the color of her skin until she was 18. Recently graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the Corcoran School of Art + Design of George Washington University; she has worked on the collaborative and educational platform for preservation of Salvadoran art from it’s civil war with laberinto projects. Currently, she is working towards developing her artistic practice and becoming more involved in fighting oppression and injustice towards brown/black people. Her feminism is intersectional. In her free time she enjoys hiking, thinking of ways to destroy men’s egos and admiring any dog she comes across.

From and based in the DC area.