Uyuni and Colchani

October 4, 2010 § 1 Comment

After San Christobal I returned to Uyuni where I spend some more days.  They guy who is on the left hand side in the picture above is my british friend David Middlemiss. By chanche we met in Uyuni some time ago, and it turned out that he writes his PhD thesis basically on the same stuff that I’m interested in. He’s a geographer from Bristol and the working title of his thesis is “Post-Neoliberal Resource Geographies. The role of lithium in Bolivian geopolitics”. So during this stay in Uyuni, we spend some time together discussing what kind of collaboration could be interesting, and we came up with a bunch of ideas. His texts or his introduction and my photographs could become a book project or even an exhibition, so we are working into various directions at the moment. It’s definetely fun to have a similar project together and to interchange ideas as well as contacts. David has interviewed several important people (politics, trade unionists, analysts etc.) that have influence on how the lithium excavations will continue, and the last days I met some of these people and took their portraits. To find out more about David Middlemiss’s research, read his blog.

The first and this second picture where photographed at the edge of the salt lake, close to the village of Colchani. David and I visited this place because there, workers shuffle the dried salt directly on big trucks that bring it to nearby refineries. People around Colchani have been working like this for many years.

After passing the refineries, the salt looks like this.

To give you a quick idea about which cities and villages I’m talking.

I spend some hours walking around in Uyuni, these words decribe the place (17.000 inhabitants) maybe best: cold, windy, dirty, dusty, unattractive.

Trash, especially plastic bags, surrounds the whole city. As there is no natural barricade, strong winds blow the trash that people just leave everywhere into the wide pampa.

Another very obvious thing in Uyuni as well as all over Bolivia are these painted political campaigns.

MAS is the party of Evo Morales , the present bolivian president.

Morales won elections in 2005 and 2009.

Let’s end with this amazing piece of cake, which was the highlight of my last Uyuni stay. The restaurant called it “death by chocolate”


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