Marcos Zegers

6x6 South America Talent: Marcos Zegers, Chile

I nominated Marcos Zegers due to his evolution as a photographer, which has led him to approach photographic projects with a different perspective from a contemporary and multidisciplinary perspective.” - Miguel Angel Larrea, photography editor, co-Director of FIFV Festival in Chile, Director of HUMO Agency and 6x6 nominator, Chile.

Marcos Zegers’ documentary research work as a photographer mainly focuses on geopolitical and territorial conflicts. His long-term work on extractive history in the Atacama Desert was awarded in the environmental category of Picture of The Year (POY) Latam in 2019, and selected for Getxo Photo 2019.

Water, Mining and Exodus

This long-term visual investigation uses sound, data, maps and files, among many other possibilities, to explore extractive activities in the Atacama Desert. It focuses on the historical and current consequences of mining in Chile such as cultural displacement, limited water resources, and a fatal flood in 2015. The research began by using the implications of the economic model that was implemented in Chile at the beginning of the 1970s as a theoretical basis. The model is based on diminishing the role of the state in favour of granting greater freedom of action to private companies. Whether it’s the implementation of the model at a local level or the excessive use of resources at a global one, the lack of regulations on extractive matters have strongly affected the territory, its communities and the environment. The work approaches a period that goes from the saltpetre industry of the XIX century to the contemporary uncertainty developing around lithium.

The 93 Chileans stranded in Russia after Pinochet's coup in 1973

A text was recently published about 93 Chileans between 15 and 25 years old who went to Russia in 1973 to study to be agricultural machinery technicians. The young people, most of them from rural areas of Chile, left with a scholarship from the Soviet Union with the commitment and hope to improve themselves and then return and contribute to the development of the country within the framework of Salvador Allende’s socialist project. However, just when they arrived in Ajtyrski, the small town that was waiting for them, Pinochet’s coup d’etat took place in Chile. What should have been a three year journey, lasted decades. Without being able to communicate with their relatives for years, some of whom they believed were dead, they forged new lives in the middle of the Russian steppe - from where some have not returned for 45 years. 

Discover work by the 6x6 South America talents, and find out about 6x6’s nomination and selection process.