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Marcelo Pérez del Carpio February 18, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bolivia.
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Evo Morales Re-inauguration, 2010

Marcelo Pérez del Carpio (b. 1982, Bolivia) was raised in Venezuela until 1999 when he came back to his birth country to study architecture. He began photographing in 2007. In 2011 he participated in PHotoEspaña portfolio reviews and in 2012 he was nominated for Joop Swart Masterclass of World Press Photo. Recently, his body of work A Dreadful Situation has been recognized by the Ian Parry Scholarship. His photographs have been published in The Sunday Times Magazine, Telegraph Travel, and other newspapers and publications as books and magazines in Bolivia and Brazil. Nowadays he works as freelance with the International Committee of the Red Cross, with the Embassy of Brazil (both in Bolivia). Marcelo is based in La Paz and is represented by Getty Images for Global Assignment.

About the Photograph:

“The picture was taken during the Aymara ceremony of Evo Morales inauguration where more than 50,000 people attended the event of the newly re-elected president of Bolivia at the temple of Kalasasaya in the ancient altiplano ruins of Tihuanaku on January 21, 2010. Morales won general elections in December 2009 with 64% of the votes and he´s the first indigenous who became president in history  of Latin America after winning general elections held in December 2005 and 2009.”

“Many indigenous supporters of Bolivia’s President were dressed in traditional clothing and played native instruments to celebrate Evo as their leader or “Apu Mallku”, but they also asked for energies of the ancestors to guide and give him wisdom and success for the following years of government. Evo is considered as an icon of the Democratic and Cultural revolutionary movement current in Bolivia. The man in the foreground of the picture is one of the ‘Ponchos Rojos’, a radical etnia Aymara of indigenous peasants guardians of Evo Morales. He carries the ‘Wiphala’, a multicolored flag of indigenous peoples and a cross, the symbol of Christianity. Aymara´s culture nowadays takes many aspects of Catholicism and ancestral pre-inca rites”.

Karla Gachet September 17, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bolivia.
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Mennonite Community, Santa Rita, Bolivia 2009

Karla Gachet (b. 1977, Ecuador) studied photojournalism at San Jose State University. In 2007 she returned to Latin America and began working on more long-term projects.These were published in December of 2009 in a book called “Historias Minimas, De Ecuador a la Tierra del Fuego” (Short stories: From Ecuador to the Land of Fire) which was recently made into an iPad App. Last year she was recognized with the third place in POYi Latin America, in the category photographer of the year. Her clients include National Geographic, Time, Smithsonian Magazine, The New York Times among others and she’s had exhibits in London, Quito, and Cuenca.  Karla is currently represented by Panos Pictures and works freelance for South America out of Quito, Ecuador.

About the Photograph:

“This picture is from the Mennonite Community of Santa Rita in the jungle of Bolivia. The story was part of a long journey I took with Ivan Kashinsky from Ecuador to The Land of Fire (tip of South America). When we got to this community, we asked people to let us photograph their lives and they all said no. Then someone suggested we go visit Cornelius Rempel, the owner of a cheese factory, they said he might be more open to outsiders. To our surprise, Cornelius agreed to let us stay with his family for a week. The Mennonite women are not allowed to speak Spanish or to have contact with anyone outside the community. For the whole family it was very strange to have us there, and because I was not white they looked at me as if I came for outer space”

“At one point they even asked Ivan to stay in the community, but not me. It was tough to be the odd one out, but little by little I stopped feeling uncomfortable and they did too and the sign language started. I learned that Mennonite women never cut their hair in their lifetime. This is part of their culture. The washing and braiding of the hair happens once a week and is a ritual in itself. Afterwards, they wear a white or black handkerchief to cover their braids, depending on their marital status. We came back to visit the Rempels three years later to show them the book we completed from on our journey. They treated us like old friends and enjoyed looking at their photos. We had all gone past being afraid of one another.”

Pietro Paolini July 2, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bolivia.
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Carnival near the city of Potosì, Bolivia 2009

Pietro Paolini (b.1981, Italy) graduated from the Fondazione Studio Marangoni in Florence (2005). For the past eight years he has been working in South America, focusing on the new socialist countries, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador. In 2006 he and four other photographers founded the Terra Project collective. Pietro’s photographs have been exhibited in Italy and abroad.His work has been been published in Le Monde magazine, Geo (France and Germany) and Vanity Fair. In 2009 he won the “Canon Young Photographers Award”. Since 2010 he has been selected to be part of the “Reflexion masterclass” by Giorgia Fiorio and Gabriel Bauret. In 2012 his work “Bolivianas” won a prize at World Press Photo in the Daily Life category.

About the Photograph:

“This picture was taken in Bolivia, near the city of Potosì. I was there to shoot a feature about the miners in “Cerro Rico” mountain, the largest silver reserve in South America. For centuries the silver was grabbed by Europeans using indigenous people as slaves. Today the conditions are not any better. A carnival day parade was happening and as always I had my medium format camera for personal work. I found these dancers getting ready for the parade and was able to make only two frames before the bear left. The bear is one of the most popular masks during the celebration. I think that those characters surrounded by this landscape make this image very surreal. Their posture creates a a kind of ambiguous suspense.”

Dado Galdieri August 10, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bolivia.
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El Alto, Bolivia 2009

Dado Galdieri (b. 1974, Brazil) studied Sociology and Communications. Upon finishing college he traveled across his native country while based in São Paulo contributing to the Associated Press and national newspapers. His work has been published in magazines and newspapers such as: Der Spiegel, National Geographic, The Sunday Times Traveler, The Guardian and Dagens Nyheter.  He left AP in 2010 to pursue an independent path and stories with a more in-depth approach. He is currently based in Lima, Peru covering South and Central America focusing on environmental and social stories, collaborating with international and local magazines and newspapers. Dido also works for corporate clients and is leading photo reportage tours for enthusiasts and adventurers in the Andean mountains.

About the Photograph:

“I took this picture while wandering in the late afternoon on the outskirts of El Alto, a new city which sprouted as a satellite dormitory town outside of Bolivia’s seat of government. I spent the day photographing men that  hide in the city’s cliffs and illegal pubs to drink pure alcohol and other cheap, often deadly spirits. After so many hours drinking non stop it’s common to see people crashed in the most incredible public places.  This picture is part of an ongoing project named K’ajj: Tradition and Alcoholism in the Andes. The central idea is to portray the patterns of behavior enhanced or created by the widespread alcohol consumption between indigenous and mestizos in Bolivia, to depict its relation to their religious beliefs as well as the negative consequences of the substance and how it can lead to alcoholism, domestic violence, chronic diseases and death.”

Ivan Kashinsky May 20, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bolivia.
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Lucha Libre, El Alto, Bolivia 2007

Ivan Kashinsky (b. 1977, USA) is a freelance photographer based in Quito, Ecuador. His work has been published in National Geographic, Time, Smithsonian, The New York Times, and Geo, among others. Ivan has traveled from El Alto Bolivia, documenting Lucha Libre for National Geographic to the Bogota Savannah, where he explored the mammoth flower industry for the Smithsonian. Kashinsky’s photography has been recognized in several photo contests and has been exhibited in New York, London and Quito. In 2009 Kashinsky completed an epic journey from the Equator to Tierra del Fuego, the southern tip of South America. The trip culminated in the book Historias Mínimas, published by Dinediciones, and an exhibition at the Centro Cultural Metropolitano in Quito Ecuador.”

About the Photograph:

“Documenting the Cholitas, the Bolivian female wrestlers, was no easy task. I went into the assignment confident and pumped. I had spent years documenting the indigenous fiestas in the Ecuadorian Andes and figured that covering Lucha Libre in Bolivia would be a similar type of challenge. Not. It was incredibly difficult to gain access and slip into the daily lives of the Cholitas. Phone calls weren’t returned. The wrestlers ditched me on the chaotic border between Peru and Bolivia. There were days I spent in my hotel room just waiting for them to get back to me. Slowly I worked my way in. I visited the women in their homes without shooting a single frame. I gained their trust. It was only then that I could finally work freely and capture the kind of images I needed. When I left, we were friends, and I was finally accepted into the bizarre world of Bolivian Lucha Libre.”

Marco Vernaschi November 24, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bolivia.
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Marco Vernaschi (b.1973, Italy) lives in Buenos Aires  He began working as photojournalist in 2000 covering wildlife and environmental issues. Since 2006 he has focused on cocaine trafficking and production, the Bolivian miners war and the daily struggle of the Quechua Indians living in the remote salt deserts of Northern Argentina. Marco is currently working on a documentary film  “Cocaina: The Untold Truth.” He was awarded with the Fuji Film Prize for Photo-journalism in 2005, Young Photo-journalist of the year in 2004 by the Italian Photography Foundation and was a two time grant winner from the Nando Peretti Foundation. He is currently working with the Pulitzer Center to develop the cocaine trafficking project. His work has been published in magazines such as National Geographic, GEO, Mother Jones, Days Japan and Marie Claire among others.

About the Photograph:

‘This widow in mourning was sitting in her kitchen by the picture of her husband, who died two days before. He was killed by other miners, who were fighting for the access to the most productive area of the mine. The Quechua and Aymara people have no popular icons that belong to their ethnicity. Che Guevara, Jesus Christ, and Bolivar are all aliens to their local culture. President Evo Morales represents an indigenous identity – the first time in 500 years. Ironically, one of the effects of President Morales’ policy of nationalization was the war among the miners. These were the people that were supposed to be the main beneficiaries of such change.”

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