Honor Roll: World Press Photo Selects Six Emerging South American Photographers

By David Schonauer   Monday April 9, 2018

“There is no shortage of visual talent around the world, but some people are better known than others. To develop a new and more diverse visual representation of the world, we need to locate, recognize and share the best work.” That is the directive behind the World Press Photo organization’s 6x6 Global Talent  program, which spotlights six new talents drawn from one of six continents every three months.

“The world of image-making is expanding, often ways unrestricted by convention. In this program, both still photography and moving images will be welcome as the emphasis is on visual storytelling,” notes World Press Photo. “There is no age limit for candidates since creativity is not limited by years. Transparency is an essential element of the program, and nominees must openly describe their creative choices so the audience can understand how what they see has been produced.”

The selected photographers are nominated by a global panel of photographers, picture editors and curators. Last November six photographers from Southeast Asia and Occeania were featured. Recently six photographers from South America  were chosen by nominators Laura Beltrán Villamizar, photography editor, educator and founder of Native Agency; Daniella Zalcman, photographer and founder of Women Photograph; and Ruth Eichhorn, freelance photo editor and curator. The final selection was made by Denise Camargo, photographer, professor, researcher, and cultural project manager; Romina Resuche, curator and journalist; and Gihan Tubbeh, photographer.

We feature the six finalists below.


Daniela Leal, a member of FARC, Colombia

Born in Caracas in 1991, Fabiola Ferrero is a journalist and photographer currently based between Venezuela and Colombia. “Her work is the result of growing up in one of the most dangerous cities in the world, which led her to explore how societies act under hostile contexts and to focus on the human condition through writing and photography,” notes World Press Photo.

“She translates feelings of despair, loss of hope and sadness into a personal, visual testimony of a country in ruins. Her work goes beyond the realm of classic visual journalism and touches the visceral, the profound and the utterly engaging. Her perseverance and strong body of work make her one to watch,” writes Laura Beltrán Villamizar.

A female security officer holds her shield during demonstration, Caracas

A horse is eaten by vultures on the way to Zabaleta, a coca village in Colombia

Two members of a militia created by late President Hugo Chávez, Venezuela


Pilgrims walk roads in the hinterland during a religious procession

Felipe Fittipaldi is a Brazilian photographer currently based in Rio de Janeiro. He collaborates with the main national and international newspapers and magazine such as El País, National Geographic, Folha de São Paulo and Veja Magazine.

“Felipe captures and brings together a few critical elements as a Brazilian photographer in his work: the texture of light unique to Brazil, a sense of palette true to the physical and social terrain, and finally a respect for his subjects that in its honesty allows both the tragedy and beauty to come through in his chosen moments,” says Dan Immel, editor, curator, and photographer.

A hotel destroyed by water erosion

Julio Leite Guimarães, 72, works land that once belonged to his great-grandfather

The decaying landscape of Atafona, a district of São João da Barra


Portrait of dancing clown with the typical costume, Veracruz, Mexico

Currently based in Mexico, Luján Agusti has also been selected for the Eddie Adams Workshop, and the New York Times Portfolio Review; she was also nominated for World Press Photo’s Joop Swart Masterclass in 2016 and 2017.

“Luján's work is unexpected, visually stunning, and always incorporates sharp, pointed references to the historical contexts of the issues she's investigating with her work. The combination makes for thought-provoking images that blur the lines of documentary and fine art, reality and memory, past and present,” says Daniella Zalcman.

Jose Luis takes off his mask

The selling of dead hummingbirds is common in the witchcraft markets, Mexico

Portrait of a Mexican girl holding the Catholic cross


A member of the maintenance team of General East Cementery in Caracas

Born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1981, Oscar B Castillo studied psychology at Venezuelan Central University. His work as photographer has been geared towards social subjects that promote ideas of solidarity, tolerance and respect.

“Oscar tries to understand the recent manifestations of violence and its relation with the political situation and with daily lives of the people of Venezuela. His view is radical, unadorned and mind opening. He puts a lot of energy and his whole heart into understanding the reality of his subjects and so getting as close as possible to the truth,” says Ruth Eichhorn.

In the Caracas suburbs, hundreds wait to get basic products

Student in a mask with a Venezuelan flag, pierced by a bullet

At a government workshop for children about violence and crime


Alfredo Ceran worked for nine years as an agrochemical land applicator

Pablo Piovano was born in Buenos Aires in 1981 and has worked as a photographer at Página/12 newspaper since he was 18. His book The Human Cost of Agrotoxins  was published by Kehrer Verlag in 2017. After documenting the social and political crisis in Argentina in 2001, Piovano published a book called Episodios Argentinos, Diciembre y Después  with four other photojournalists. 

Piovano is “deeply driven to expose environmental stories and our problematic relationship to the natural world. The Human Cost of Agrotoxins  is one such story and it documents the impact of 20 years of indiscriminate use of agrochemicals such as glyphosat in the rural northeast of Argentina, and the devastating impact of the people and their environment,” writes  Tina Ahrens, director of photography at Philosophie magazine.

Fabian Tomasi, a farmworker, was diagnosed with severe toxic polyneuropathy

Fabian’s mother, Bety, holds the phone to his ear to allow him talk to his friend

Talia Belen Soroco suffers from a congenital malformation and severe motor problems



Goran Dakovic, a miner from former Yugoslavia

Tamara Merino is an independent documentary photographer and photojournalist currently based in Chile. Her work focuses on social and cultural issues, identity and migration. Her photography has appeared in multiple online and print publications around the world, including National Geographic, The Washington Post, Der Spiegel, Wired, Fish Eye Magazine, Joia Magazine, Folha de Sao Paulo, Roads and Kingdoms, and the Sydney Morning Herald.

“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,” writes photojournalist Danielle Villasana.

Gabriele Gouellain waits her subterranean kitchen

Maria Fernanda injects estrogen as part of her gender change treatment

Maria Fernanda and Ana, her girlfriend, kiss in a gay bar


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