Oficina Salitrera Pedro de Valdivia

PhotographerDante Busquets
PrizeHonorable Mention
City/CountryBerlin, Germany
Photo Date2014
Technical InfoImages digitally stitched
Entry Description

Sodium Nitrate -AKA Saltpeter- brought industry and greed to the geographical highlands shared by Chile, Perú and Bolivia. At the end of the 19th Century, fortunes were made by foreign investors, and the three countries were pushed to fight each other in a carnage that left deep scars, to protect the wealth of others. The industry was killed by progress at the start of the 20th Century, and what remained struggled to survive. In 1996 the inhabitants of the town of Pedro de Valdivia, founded in 1911, were oficially evacuated due to pollution produced by the plant which they served.

About Photographer

Dante Busquets, Mexico City 1969. Dante attended the San Francisco Art Institute, studying photography with artists Pirkle Jones, Jack Fulton and Reagan Louie, among others. He obtained a technical degree from the Escuela Activa de Fotografía in Mexico City, and completed workshops with Susan Meiselas, Abbas, Joseph Rodriguez, Cristian Caujolle and Heidi Specker. He has exhibited individually in Mexico and has participated in over 25 group shows internationally. His project Diario DeAntes received the Young Artists Grant awarded by the Mexican Ministry of Culture. He received an Honorable Mention from the Mexican Bienal de Fotografía in 1997, for his series about gang life in the city of Zamora, and in 2006 he received the Acquisition Prize for his SATELUCO project, in which he photographed families and urban areas of a well-known suburb north of Mexico City. He received the grant Descubrimientos PHE México from PhotoEspaña ’09, and FotoFest’s Leica Grant in Houston TX, 2008. In 2012 he became part of the Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte, a 3-year programme from the Mexican National Fund for Culture and Arts, 2012-2104, with the project “The desolate landscapes of Eduardo Galeano: a visual journey through the Open Veins of Latin America”.