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ESSAY CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT
How many times can a person face death in their lives?
Sense it. Feel it. Smell it. Maybe once? Twice? Four times?
The people captured in “Living Periferia” live with it every day of their lives. The violence, the drugs, the weapons, the lost bullets, which take dozens of lives every year… The fights, the battles with the police. Some barely escape. Others fall in the street law and to save them from oblivion their friends and family draw enormous pictures of them on the walls of the shantytown. It’s a posthumous tribute to their courage, their way to remember them as local heroes.
This work dives in a forgotten world, where many times not even mailmen are allowed in. It’s a world that goes beyond poverty. Wide ghettos in the further corners of Santiago where the State has managed for years to dump what they would rather not see. What investments must never see. What rich people should better keep ignoring.
Chile is now one of the richest countries in South America. The government celebrates the 4.4% economical growth in the last year and everyone claps when they say the international crisis hasn’t reached yet. But no one looks at this face of Chile when they receive the applauses. Derelict that generates more derelict. Violence that generates more violence. The toughest and more efficient school of crime. A society inside the society whit their own codes and mechanics that result inconceivable for the rest of the world. The order inside the chaos, where only the one who yells louder, the one who hits harder or the one who shoots faster can emerge. Or survive.
These photos are a personal puzzle about fragmented social representations. The foreign eyes of someone that, of all the going round, ended up being a local. But who’s look reflects the beauty of an ugly and shocking world to the eyes of whom looks from across the street.
Alejandro Olivares (1981) is a Chilean photographer currently living in Santiago, Chile. He is the photo editor of The Clinic Magazine; correspondent for foreign agencies, several international agencies and photographer for “Felicidad” Design Agency in Chile. His work is divided between press coverage and documentary essay.
He has won multiple awards including; National Hall of Press Photo (Chile), Photo of the Year in the bicentenary version of the National Hall of Press Photo (Chile), Photo of the Year in Querétaro Photo Fest in Mexico, along with the second place in documentary essay in the same festival. He was nominated for the Rodrigo Rojas de Negri award in the years 2009, 2011, and 2012 and he was selected for the briefcase visionary PhotoEspaña 2011 in República Dominicana.
His work has been featured in exhibitions in Chile, Spain and the United States and has been published in several Chilean magazines and journals including “Qué Pasa”, “Joia”, “Pound”, “Guamá”, “Artishock” and “La Nación”. He has also published in foreign medias like “Soho” (Colombia), “Internazionale” (Italy), “Focus” (Italy), “10×15″ (Spain), “Piel de Foto” (Spain).
He has been honorably mentioned in the Zoom-In Poverty Contest, from the Agence Xinhua, China.