Blak Lens: The Trailblazing Indigenous Initiative | with Founder Michael Jalaru Torres


February 27, 2023

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“A lot of the time people are waiting for the government or someone to fix their problem, in this case we don’t need government to fix it, we just need to come together.


And as we come together and work together we can actually create our own industry in this regard, and then hopefully the government will support the industry.


Because I would rather an industry be designed by us, as opposed to something that’s designed by bureaucrats in a government space” 




Sometimes you’ve got to scratch your own itch, this is precisely what Michael Jalaru Torres has done. 


Fed up with mis- and underrepresentation of First Nations people in the Australian photography world, Torres has pioneered a first of its kind Indigenous photography/videography directory: Blak Lens.


Blak Lens aims to facilitate work for First Nations people who are often overlooked for creative work, despite possessing invaluable knowledge and unrivalled access to Indigenous communities.


The project also serves as a connector for First Nations creatives all over Australia. Becoming a hive for collaboration and sharing of industry knowledge.


Torres is currently shaking up the industry out of his own pocket, unselfishly donating his time. If you’d like to help the cause, Torres proclaims “Right now we need help with awareness”. So check out the directory for yourself an and follow their Instagram.


If you’d like to help in a greater capacity, slide into Blak Lens’s DM’s – we want nothing more then to see this initiative flourish and grow. 





  • Finding an opening (3 mins)
  • Benefits of BLM (6 mins)
  • The power of community (7 mins)
  • Underrepresentation (12 mins)
  • The benefits of collaboration (17 mins)
  • Becoming a leader (19 mins)
  • Solving the problem (23 mins)
  • Learning from others (28 mins)
  • How the industry is changing (30 mins)
  • How we can help (32 mins)







Michael, is an Indigenous photographer and media professional from Broome, Western Australia. He’s a Djugun and Yawuru man with connections to the Jabirr Jabirr and Gooniyandi people.

Michael draws inspiration from the beautiful landscapes and people of the Kimberley region, where he’s from. His photography reflects his personal experiences and addresses social and political issues faced by Indigenous people. He loves experimenting with different mediums and is interested in expanding his photography into installations and motion work.

Michael’s work has been featured in various exhibitions across Australia, including the Head On Photo Festival and the Sydney Contemporary Art Fair in 2018. He aims to promote positive and individualised representations of Indigenous people through his unique portraiture and abstract landscape photography.

Click here for Michaels website – and here for his Instagram





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