Once known as the financial and shipping hub of Latin America, Panama City has become an increasingly active player in the creative industries. From art collectives, to filmmakers, to photographers to digital agencies, the little capital is now at the forefront of innovation. Here is a list of some of the most talented creatives in Panama that the world needs to know about.
Tito Herrera is an award-winning photographer from Panama City. Over the years, he has specialised in editorial portraits, travel, adventure, and video and photo documentaries. Herrera’s work has featured worldwide for organisations and publications such as IME Magazine, The New York Times, Travel Channel, Discovery Networks and National Geographic Channel, among many others.
Abner Benaim is an award-winning Panamanian film director, producer, screenwriter and plastics artist, whose work places a strong emphasis on the social and political issues of his country. Invasion (2o14), a documentary about the collective memory forged around the US invasion of Panama in 1989, was Panama’s first submission for Best Foreign Picture at the 87th edition of the Academy Awards.
The extraordinary Panamanian pianist and music composer Danilo Perez is one of the most renowned jazz musicians of our times. With three Grammy Award nominations, he has performed with artists of the caliber of Dizzy Gillespie, Jack deJohnnette and Tito Puente. A philanthropist, Pérez also started a foundation that bares his name, and that provides music education to underprivileged children in Panama City.
Patacoins TV is a digital platform that generates content to cover the latest trends in pop culture, cinema, TV, video games, comics, and collectibles. Founded by David Lucio and Estefania Varela (now a TV host for the Panamanian channel OYE), Patacoins publishes at least two episodes a week as well as original content for social media, podcasts, live streams. It also organises events on demand for their clients.
© Patacoins TV
DiabloRosso is a creative think-tank and an art gallery based in Casco Antiguo, the historic old quarter of Panama City. It was created to fill a void in the art scene of Panama, with the mission of supporting and empowering young talent, educating the public and generating social impact. The gallery’s program includes art exhibitions, screenings, artist lectures, music and dance performances.
Simon Zebede is one of the most creative young personalities of the Panamanian advertising scene. He is the CEO of Tomorrow Digital Project, a leading innovation agency in Panama, as well as the founder of La Media Digital, a digital content and entertainment company. He is also a founding partner of Workings Latam, a top coworking space in Latin America.
Insano is a natural born artist who finds his inspiration in nature, animals and in urban surroundings. He came into contact with the graffiti world by chance and has since then been developing a unique style that is in constant evolution. After gaining recognition in Panama’s art scene he has opened his own studio and has co-founded a brand called CINIC that develops prints, apparel and gear using works of art from all over the world.