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For one Potosi
In the 16th century, during Spanish colonization, the city of Potosi in Bolivia was gigantic and had a population of no less than 200,000. At the same time, Spanish aristocracy exploited Potosi's silver in very large quantities. It is estimated that millions of slaves lost their lives in these mines to feed the waists of the Spanish aristocracy. Today silver has lost its value and the global market needs Zinc, which is used to manufacture roof covering and gutters. Spain left and the miners organized themselves into small cooperatives. "When you're lucky, you come across a vein. When you don't find one, it's more difficult." Ricardo believes in his lucky star and we dig constantly. I do not own this "vein" in which I work, so I will be paid a percentage per kilo. The slavers are gone, but the mine remains uncompromising with the miners.
Story & Photography: Fabien Dupoux