Land of Araucanus

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My name is Gianluca, I’m an Italian student and photographer, currently living and studying in Varese.

In 2013 I lived for six months in Chile, more precisely in the beautiful Bio-Bio region, homeland of the Mapuche people, also present in Araucania and the southernmost regions of the country.

During my experience in this wonderful country I had the opportunity to get in contact with this population who has inhabited this region since ancient times and has managed to fight and resist against the Spanish colonialist until 1800, preserving their native culture . This ethnic group is still maintaining a strong independence and cultural autonomy, fighting to have their rights recognized by the government, and remaining one of the most interesting ethno-cultural contexts in Latin America.This short period in Chile has awaken in me a morbid curiosity and a willingness to dig deep into this culture through photography. My idea is to spend a month in Chile, during the winter season (July-August), to document life, activities, costumes, and the relationships that this ancient ethnic groups has with modern society and Chile as a whole.

The Mapuche have hardly appeared in major national and international media, and it is even hard to find something about this people on the most important documentary-themed websites. I want to give them exposure in the Western society, showing the beauty and the dramaticsituation of this land. I know the country well, I have all the skills needed to reach places and get in touch with the main Mapuche groups in the Southern regions. I know Chilean Spanish very well, which will allow me to have a certain level of confidence when interacting with the locals. As you can see from my website, the purpose of my photography is to document humans.There is nothing I love more than humans.

 

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