To Build with the Ashes

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Adriana Thomasa

Forest fires are recurrent in Valparaíso. Every year a large number of disasters occur in the region, many of them near inhabited areas, devastating entire populations.

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Already in 2014 and 2017, Alimapu (scorched earth in Mapudungun) saw its heights burn and destroy more than 2,500 and 250 houses, respectively. The last major fire that reached populated areas occurred on December 24, 2019, originating in a piece of land in the upper part of Valparaíso and taking more than 300 houses.

© Adriana Thomasa

The institutional abandonment of peripheral areas, the presence of exotic species such as pines and eucalyptus through old forest plantations that today are unmanaged; and the lack of strong public policies on fire prevention, in addition to the conditions of strong winds and high temperatures in a region affected by drought are some of the factors that contribute to the recurrence of these disasters and affecting communities. forgotten areas of the port city: the heights of the hills and the ravines.

© Adriana Thomasa
© Adriana Thomasa

This work explores the resilience of Buenos Aires in the face of forest fires, documenting how the Gallardo Soto family, affected by the disaster of December 24, 2019, gradually rebuilds their home before the arrival of winter and in the midst of a pandemic, while waiting for their definitive homes. promised by the state.

About the Author:

Adriana Thomasa (1994, Melilla, Spain) is a documentary photographer based between Spain and Chile. She studied Audiovisual Communication and Documentary Film in addition to conducting various Photojournalism workshops. She has worked as a freelance photojournalist for media and agencies such as Agencia EFE, El País or Agence France Presse, among others.

Her work focuses on identity and territory, human rights, social movements and migration. She is interested in documenting what happens around her and telling stories in an intimate and personal way to create memories and reflect on social and cultural issues.


Canon EOS 6D

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© 2019 Caption Magazine. ISSN 0716-0879