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Changing Perspectives: Chile
by Jamey Stillings


Changing Perspectives: Chile examines the evolving nexus between renewable energy, development, and mining in the Atacama Desert of Chile.

Since 2010, I have photographed renewable energy sites in the American West, Uruguay, and Japan as part of a multi-chaptered documentary project called Changing Perspectives. In 2017, I traveled to northern Chile.

Chile produces half the world’s copper and has the largest-known lithium reserves. Each day, we utilize Chilean copper in our cars, computers, and smartphones. Northern Chile’s mining industry is heavily dependent on imported coal, diesel, and liquefied natural gas for its energy. Yet, the geography and geology of the Atacama Desert provide Chile with excellent solar and wind potential. New renewable energy projects in the regions of Antofagasta, Atacama, and Tarapacá supply electricity to the northern grid, transmit power to population centers in the south, and are beginning to reduce mining’s dependence on fossil fuels.

We are at a critical juncture in the evolution of our species. By documenting significant developments in the global energy landscape, I am working to create and share imagery that is focused on solutions. Changing Perspectives: Chile represents the newest chapter in this work.