Tamara Mekler was born in 1995 in Mexico City. In 1997 she moved to Madrid, Spain, and lived there for the next twelve years of her life. She has also lived in Florida and in California. Tamara graduated from Stanford University in 2018 with a M.S. in Earth Systems and a B.S. in Human Biology with a minor in Art Practice. Through both of her degrees, her focus was on community-based conservation and sustainable development. Tamara began experimenting with photography her sophomore year of college, and has since taken several courses in film photography and conservation photography. She has also approached conservation issues with sculptural work. Through her art, Tamara explores the relationship between humans and nature, and hopes to bridge the gap between the scientific community and the art scene.
In my life I have witnessed the lack of effective communication between scientists and nonscientists, and how this separation continues to thwart conservation efforts. In an attempt to bridge this gap, and make nature conservation issues more personally relatable to a broader population, I have adopted conservation photography as a storytelling tool. While scientific findings and concepts can often be restricted in range to the academic sphere, the variety in forms of expression pertaining to the arts make it possible to connect with a wider range of people from many different perspectives. By relying on art’s ability to elicit emotional responses across cultural and ideological boundaries, I hope that my photography will serve as a form of environmental communication and education. My work is inspired by that of street and conservation photographers such as Sebastião Salgado, Cristina Mittermeier, and Brandon Stanton, and their ability to achieve change by harnessing the power of empathy. As I continue to look into my relationship to art, I am exploring film photography, documentary filmmaking, and sculpture to investigate the relationship between humans and nature through different media.