Nicky Quamina-Woo is a Black + Native Hawaiian documentary photographer dividing her time between Southeast Asia, the African continent and New York City. Her fascination with the tenacity of the human spirit deeply influences her approach to image-making.
Woo's documentary work explores the transmogrified effects of long-term trauma within communities often precipitated by the legacy of colonization. The ways in which collective suffering and its myriad embers can change the underlying ethos of groups to form something new; Adaptation not only as a means of survival but morphology that integrates and syncretizes with each culture. Nicky’s desire to examine these shifts is intrinsically linked to her ethnic heritage, whose parallels inspire her to dig deeper in search of human fortitude, compassion and healing.
Nicky is the recipient of the Nikon-Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage grant in 2020 as well as an awardee of the inaugural Reuters Storytelling grant for her work on a Tanzania based project about the intersection of western medicine and witchcraft. In her time as an independent, her clients have included CNN, The Washington Post, Human Rights Watch, Der Spiegel, Bloomberg, Apple, Reporters Beyond Borders, The Guardian, Vogue Italia and Marie Claire magazines.