Xavier Ribas "Traces of Nitrate. Mining History and Photography between Great Britain and Chile"

Xavier Ribas

05 Oct. 2013

This project, developed by the photographer Xavier Ribas, together with historian Louise Purbrick and the photographer Ignacio Acosta, at the University of Brighton, with the help of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, investigates the legacy of British investment in the nitrate mines in Chile [1870–1920] and their involvement in global traffic. By exploring places, archives, objects and images, the project follows the nitrate trail from its mineral state to its processing in the Atacama Desert, through its commodity status and market value, finally becoming part of the material and symbolic heritage of Great Britain. The photographs of Xavier Ribas question geographically diverse but historically related landscapes, linking remote nitrate fields with metropolitan financial districts.

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