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Chiloé-La Cruz del Sur

The Chileans used to have a saying: “En Chile no pasa nada – Nothing happens in Chile.” Back then Chile was a postcard sent from the end of the world, a strangely shaped country, the success story of South America. But then came Pinochet. Today, the country is still in the process of attempting both to reconcile itself with its past and to modernise.
Chiloé is an archipelago 1,100 km south of Santiago. Its isolation has created a strong sense of identity and community. The island has developed its own mythology and its own culture, refl ecting the constant struggle with water and land. Change has always taken a long time to reach these parts of the world but now, with new technologies, tourism and salmon farming, the Chilotes are slowly seeing their way of life and relationships starting to change.
My adoptive family live on Meulin, an island where there is no electricity, no hot water and no doctor. After primary school, the children have to go to boarding school on the neighbouring island. The people scratch a living from a little farming and from collecting seaweed. The foreign salmoneras (salmon farms) pollute the water and the fi shermen are struggling to survive. The young people leave to go to Puerto Montt. Here are the stories of an island which believes in ghost ships, in witches, in God and in the importance of community. A country of rainbows and of potatoes. A place where the church steeple helps the fi shermen to fi nd their way home.

Brigitte Grignet

This exhibition is made up of 28 prints: 40 x 40 cm (23) - 80 x 100 cm (5).

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