Tamara Merino

6x6 South America Talent: Tamara Merino, Chile

“Tamara Merino’s approach to documentary photography is sensitive and poetic. Through her passion for storytelling, she travels the world to photograph social and cultural issues with a focus on identity. Her fascination with counter-cultures motivates her to tell untold stories that surprise and fascinate. Tamara’s genuine respect for others and her passion for understanding the world through photography result in an intriguing, awe-inspiring body of work that teaches us about the lives of others.” – Danielle Villasana, photojournalist and 6x6 nominator, USA

Tamara is an independent documentary photographer and photojournalist based in Chile focusing on social and cultural issues, identity and migration. Tamara was selected to participate in the 2015 World Press Photo Latin America Masterclass. She was a finalist for the Magnum Foundation's Inge Morath Award in 2016 and her work is part of the Photographic Museum of Humanity (PHMuseum).


The isolated town of Coober Pedy, which derives its name from the aboriginal name Kupa-Piti, or ‘white man hole’, is located in the southern Australian outback. Coober Pedy is an unconventional town where most of its social and personal life takes place under the vast and lonely land itself. Since 1915, Coober Pedy has been mined for opal, a valuable gemstone worth millions of dollars. With more than seventy opal fields, it is the largest opal mining area in the world. Among its population of 1,695 habitants, Coober Pedy’s residents are made up of 45 nationalities that have all decided to escape their past lives and take refuge in their underground houses called dugouts. Each year, mining opportunities decrease, and there are less miners working in the fields. The younger generation doesn’t want to commit to mining due to its inherent danger and instability as a source of income.

See Tamara Merino's 'Underland' on Witness, World Press Photo's online magazine.

My name was

Mexico is the second country with the highest rate of violence and trans murders worldwide. Nevertheless Mexico has some of the most progressive laws for trans people and it's also one of the few places in the world where trans people can receive hormonal treatment at no cost, as well as legally change their name and gender identity on their birth certificates. Since July 2009, The Condesa Hospital in Mexico City has offered free gender change services. This hospital is one of the few operating in Latin America. Maria Fernanda, a trans woman from Mexico City who attends this treatment at La Condesa Hospital, is an example of what is possible when governments offer progressive solutions. Maria Fernanda changed her name and gender on her birth certificate and is pursuing a degree in informatics and is creating her own fashion brand. This story aims to challenge stereotypes commonly associated with trans people and the misconceptions of the lack of human rights in so-called ‘developing countries’.

Discover work by the 6x6 South America talents, and find out about 6x6’s nomination and selection process.