The Desert (2017) Commissioned by MAST Foundation for Photography Grant. Bologna, Italy.
It is estimated that up to date, more than 30,000 Dominicans have left their country in order to seek better opportunities in Chile. More than 15.000 have entered illegally. Dominicans are required to have a special visa to enter as tourists, which has made them an easy target for smugglers.They are deceived, robbed and psychologically and sexually abused. Most are intercepted in their own countries where they receive travel offers which include counterfeit visas, more than 10-day itineraries on airplanes, buses and long walks through the desert on the borders between Perú, Bolivia and Chile where the biggest threats are minefields, heights of more than 3,800 meters above sea level and extreme temperatures during the day and night. The work focuses on the experience of these people and their relationship with this landscape which is the cornerstone of a whole industry of migration and bureaucracy. Many of them didn't want to show their faces, but still they wanted to tell their experience. Almost every migrant has made this trip as owner of a smartphone, so additionally to the photographs I've proposed to them that they should tell their own story from what they keep in these devices.
Bolivia, Perú & Chile. 2017