Kitra Cahana is a documentary and fine art photographer whose work explores important social, anthropological, and spiritual themes. Born in Miami, but raised in Canada and Sweden, Kitra earned her B.A. in philosophy from McGill University and her M.A. in visual and media anthropology from the Freie Universitat in Berlin. She is one of National Geographic Magazine's youngest photographers.
As a documentary photographer, Kitra embeds herself in communities, often for months at a time, in order to learn the language of her subjects. She has chronicled the daily lives of teens at a Texas high school, told the story of a Venezuelan cult, followed a group of nomadic youth across the United States. As a fine art photographer, Kitra focuses on the less explicable, often pushing the possibilities of the photographic medium. Her work in this genre deals with themes of the body and spirituality, a topic she took on following her father, Rabbi Ronnie Cahana's stroke, which led him to become a quadriplegic. She is also influenced by her grandmother Alice Lok Cahana's mixed media abstract paintings, and periodically collaborates with her sister Tamira Cahana.
Kitra is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the 2013 International Center of Photography's Young Photographer Award, a TED fellowship, first prize for the 2010 World Press Photo, a scholarship at the Benetton research communication center in Italy, the Thomas Morgan internship at the New York Times, and more.