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Tamara Merino

Underland

60 million people live in underground environments worldwide.

From climate refugees to voracious miners, from apocalypse cults to abandoned indigenous communities, 60 million people live in underground environments worldwide. The choice of living a life of isolation responds to basic needs largely lost in our fast-paced, technological societies. Like a return to a mythical original nature, the series depicts human beings in settings existing as safe havens long before artificial shelters or houses. New challenges in the modern world have led some people to find a stable and secure accommodation underground.

Tamara Merino has documented this situation by living with communities deprived of technology and comfort in Australia, Spain and the USA. In many cases, people who have consciously chosen to exclude themselves from society find underground living an energy-efficient and sustainable alternative to conventional housing.

Tamara Merino lives in Chile and is a National Geographic Explorer focusing on human rights, social change and identity issues. In recent years, she has followed communities that have withdrawn from urban spaces to live underground. Merino's work has appeared in numerous international publications, including National Geographic, The New York Times, Time Magazine and Der Spiegel.

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