Eduardo Hirose | Expansión

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Country of origin: Peru
Project location: Peru
Program: Magnum Foundation Fund
Year: 2017

For the past decade, my work has addressed landscape in Peru both as concept and witness to the consequences and transformations generated by mining and construction, the two key activities during the country’s economic boom, at the beginning of the 21st century. I like to combine situations in order to activate judgement and discussion about what development should be, either in the view of the collective or from the perspective of the individual. 

The Puno district of Ananay, with its notorious La Rinconada town mining sector and the adjacent Cerro Lunar settlement, is the enclave that surged as a result of so-called informality at the peak of the recent goldrush. One has to go up to about 5,200 metes above sea level to get there. Mining at La Rinconada and Cerro Lunar centers upon pit activity, while in the rest of Ananea it is of the open pit variety. The migrant population of La Rinconada is 50,000, though at the height, it totaled 80,000 people. 

Will the Andean space endure in the face of climatic change and the accumulation of toxic waste? For one, snow is now no longer perpetual and is in fact shrinking away, receding to unheard of limits. What will be the fate of the populations and the land when gold becomes scarce? Will informality persevere, scraping away at the slagheap in the event of exhaustion?