On behalf of “progress” we have transformed our environment into the lifeblood of our economy. Everything we manufacture and consume it’s been made from the same natural resources. Lead is commonly used in car batteries, as coloring in paints and ceramic glazes. Gold is a highly efficient conductor that can carry tiny currents and remain free of corrosion, hence is used in almost all our electronic devices like computers and cell phones. It is used in windows of buildings and planes because gold reflects large amount of light. Diamonds are used in industry for cutting, drilling, sanding and polishing. With oil we produce thousands of products, the soles of our shoes, matches, shampoo, asphalt, cleaning products, sunglasses, synthetic fibers, tires, insecticides, fertilizers, carpets, shower curtains, trash bags, tennis rackets and children’s toys. Coal and natural gas to generate electrical power, silver in mirrors, knives and water purifiers. Bauxite to produce aluminum which is extremely used, nickel is used in batteries and magnets. Copper can be found in any electronic device, in musical instruments and electrical wires. Zinc in deodorant and sulfur to produce powder, fungicides as well as laxatives. Chromite, talc, barites, marble, limestone, platinum, vanadium, salt, sand, gravel, timber, soil. We use everything.
Richland is a project about the exploitation of the natural resources in Latin America and the resulting long-term negative effects. Rather than benefit from natural resources abundance and wealth, local people living in areas of exploitation have experienced loss of livelihoods, health problems, human rights violations and environmental degradation. This body of work was made between 2008 and 2012 in Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.