Photography: Montevideo melting pot

After a challenge by a friend, Eliana Cleffi photographed as many nationalities as she could in 100 days in Montevideo--and that started a mammoth project.
By Karen A Higgs
Montevideo migrant population photography
Last updated on June 1, 2019

Uruguay has had the same low population of around three million for the last fifty or so years. However in the last five years there’s been an influx of new faces and nowadays you can walk the Old City and hear lots of accents, especially Caribbean.

But photographer Eliana Cleffi had a friend who refused to believe that there was this new vibrancy in Uruguay. No, he said, everyone’s pretty much white and Uruguay born-and-bred.

Taking up the gauntlet she decided to show him. She would photograph as many nationalities as she could over 100 days. And she managed to shoot 65 nationalities.

She told Guru’Guay:

“I started the project on my own but when I reached 65 portraits, I published the pictures on social media hoping that people would like the challenge and help me finish it. Fortunately, the answer was more than positive: people got really excited about showing this new multicultural face of Montevideo. What started as a personal project turned into a collective one and, with effort and perseverance, I finally reached the goal. The pictures were taken at their favourite locations around the city.”

Montevideo: Crisol Cultural, which means Montevideo: Cultural Melting Pot consists of portraits of 53 women and 47 men, between the ages of 18 and 92, from all background and 100 countries. They all live in Montevideo.

You can see the entire project on Eliana’s website.



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