“La Vueltita de Tam” | By Irina Werning
Why are most pictures of trans people in their rooms? What happens when they take to the streets and connect with people, especially in a very traditional society like Bolivia? Tam is a 23-year-old non binary dancer from Bolivia, living in Buenos Aires. This is the story about Tam’s return to hometown for the first time since transitioning during lockdown.
We invite you on this journey out and about the streets of Cochabamba, where we challenge gender stereotypes, play with people, or simply wait and see what happens…. Tam says: “Trans non binary people exist in Bolivia, South America and the whole wide world. There isn’t just one way of being non binary, we are all unique, just like human beings. This is me.”
Tam’s family accepts them gender identity but sometimes fails to address Tam in the desired PRONOUNS (they, them).
With social media is easy for Tam to meet up with diverse people in them hometown. The bonding is immediate and they chat about hardships and nice things of being different and free.
“Living away from home gave me the space to embrace those changes as they came, figure out how I wanted to present, and not worry about who I saw from high school at the local grocery story when I was trying out something new.” Tam says.
This story was produced in partnership with @pulitzercenter.
Irina Werning is a freelance photojournalist who focuses on personal long-term projects. She is based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Werning has a bachelor’s degree in economics, a master’s degree in history (Buenos Aires) and a master’s in photojournalism (London). She won the Ian Parry Scholarship (The Sunday Times Magazine and Getty) in 2006, the Emerging Photographer Fund – Burn Magazine (Magnum Foundation) in 2012, and a first-place Sony World Photography Award for portraiture in 2012.
Werning was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the nine Argentinian photographers you need to follow in 2015 and her book Back to the Future was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the best photobooks of 2014. In 2020, she was awarded the Emergency Covid Grant (National Geographic) and a Pulitzer Reporting Grant in 2021. In 2022 she won the World Press Photo Story category in South America.
Selection by Managing Editor Alejandra Martinez Moreno