Mining and Exodus in the Atacama Desert
Chilean photographer Marcos Zegers documents his endless journey through the Atacama Desert in an effort to explore the historical and current consequences of mining in Chile.
This series titled 'Mining and Exodus in the Atacama Desert' by photographer Marcos Zegers addresses narratives around extractive activities in the Atacama Desert. His work explores precisely the historical and current consequences of mining in Chile such as cultural displacements, water resources and tailings that have accumulated over years. Producing, in conjunction with meteorological factors, a fatal flood in 2015 in the region of Copiapó.
This project uses as a theoretical basis the implication of the neoliberal economic model that was implemented in Chile at the beginning of the 1970’s as an experiment. One that continues to this day with the consequence of a lack of regulations in the industry which affects the territory, the environment and communities. 'Mining and Exodus in the Atacama Desert' approaches periods that go from the last century with saltpeter to the contemporary uncertainty that develops around Lithium, called the new "white oil" that uses the green standard to operate in the Salar de Atacama under this same lack of regulation.
“For almost two centuries, the Atacama Desert has been a constant source of mineral resource extraction.”