Photo-essay. Atacama desert moods

Photographer Francesca Ióvene explores abandoned villages in northern Chile in search of the memories of the saltpetre miners.

In the project Memoria del salitre, the photographer Francesca Ióvene explores some abandoned workers’ villages in the Atacama desert. Built around abandoned saltpetre mines, the settlements had particular forms, similar to the European Renaissance centres. The author leaves from María Elena, the only village of miners still alive, to explore a complex and living landscape, composing a subjective narrative.

“I consider the peculiarities of the place as characteristics of a human body. In my photographs it is as if the desert has its own moods, each time different and changing: sometimes repelling, sometimes desolate, sometimes beautiful,” says Francesca Ióvene.

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