Shangwen Mao

"The Story of Huatacondo"

Section MS1, Kamil Dalkir

Keywords: climate, environment, moving image

In Huatacondo, a village in the lithium mining triangle of Chile, mining is destroying much of its natural heritage. Since the 1990s, the region has experienced intense environmental changes due to activities at the Collahuasi and Teck Quebrada Blanca mines which represent the largest copper reserves in Chile. Both mines are located directly above the town of Huatacondo and the upper reaches of the Maning river, causing irreparable damage to the natural and cultural heritage of the indigenous community of Huatacondo. Thus, the extent of the destruction of ancestral forms of cultural expression such as herdsmen is unknown, and the permanent disappearance of seasonal accommodation or camps allows this traditional activity to erode, causing a double destruction of material and intangible heritage. The mining companies (Collahuasi and Teck Quebrada Blanca) have only offered economic compensation to Huatacondo residents, ignoring the anthropological damage to the housing and grazing systems that have existed for generations.