36 Views of Villarrica Volcano

  • Photographer
    Mauro Pesce
  • Prize
    Honorable Mention
  • Company/Studios
    Mauro Pesce
  • Date of Photograph
    November 20, 2022 at 4:25:42 pm
  • Technical Info
    1/200s at f/9, ISO 100 (55mm, full frame)

“I think we are destroying it, I don't know. That's how I feel sometimes. He's there, like he wants us to get the fuck out of here. I feel like he's giving us a break so that we can think about it, so that we behave well. But, in reality, he is the boss. For me it's like a very big energy that, if we don't behave well, it's going to blow us all up.” Title: Bathers on Renahue beach.


Villarrica volcano has an active lava lake and is one of the few in the world frequently emitting incandescent particles. Located in the south of Chile, its surroundings were for centuries inhabited by native nations organized into small autonomous groups. When the Chilean state occupied the territory in 1883, the area entered an accelerated transformation process.

If at first it was logging and the border crossing route to Argentina that raised people’s interest, later it was its natural beauty and the associated tourism that stimulated economic development. Today, the Villarrica volcano overlooks a diverse human geography, with peasants, conservationists, businesspeople, real estate investors, service providers, natives and tourists. The sharp increase in population, along with the damage caused by industrial activity have caused serious ecological problems.

36 Views of Villarrica Volcano is a series of landscape photographs that portray everyday scenes in which Villarrica volcano can be seen. The project is inspired by the famous series of woodcut prints 36 Views of Mount Fuji, created by the Japanese Katsushika Hokusai. His engravings capture fleeting moments that passed before Mount Fuji, forming a memory of simple events where the transitory condition of life is the main subject.

The diversity of inhabitants of the Villarrica territory manifests itself in the different paradigms that model people’s approach to the landscape. The paradigm of economic growth undoubtedly prevails, but there is an ongoing confrontation between them, which results in a lack of the dialogue, public policies and personal habits necessary to address the current environmental problems.

To understand these paradigms, 36 people were interviewed. A short passage, literally transcribed, accompanies each photo.

36 Views of Villarrica Volcano represents a multitude of perspectives that, even as they oppose each other, all converge on the also called Quitralpillán: the “spirit of fire”.

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