Crossing the border of Chile and Bolivia to explore the untouched landscapes of the Atacama Desert
When Vancouver-based photographer Chiara Zonca went out to capture the beautifully desolate land that separates the border of Chile and Bolivia even she will have been awestruck by the magnificent landscape that the artist managed to perfectly capture within the Atacama Desert.
The talented photographer’s series, which was titled Moon Kingdom, took her to some of the most stranded areas on planet earth which offer a stark insight into what life would be like without human interference.
The focus of the series was to explore an idea that she calls ‘the switch’, a theory which is an emotional process that happens when Zonca finds herself in a landscape so out of this world that it puts her in a dream-like state. In her search for the switch, she travelled with her husband to this gorgeous area that sits in the Altiplano region that separates the border of Chile and Bolivia.
“For Moon Kingdom, I was intrigued by the dream-like nature of Chile and Bolivia. I knew that it would be the perfect location for my ‘experiment.’ In the span of a month, I travelled with my husband, mostly in the Altiplano region that separates the two countries, seeking alien-like landscapes where I could reach to the depths of my thoughts,” Zonca said to Feature Shoot about the series.
“We camped mostly alone, waking up before the sun, going to bed after sunset, and becoming part of the landscape. What made this location so special was the complete silence—it’s the driest location on earth so there aren’t many plants or animals. No birds singing, no noise of wind between trees. Nothing,” the Canadian photographer added.
Her series isn’t just about the beautiful landscape that she is capturing, it’s more about the personal experience for her. Zonca has spoken about her issues with anxiety and the photos are more so about representing the freeing of her mind that being in these spaces provide than the unbridled beauty of the images.
“I have always been very introverted but I never actually understood how much being surrounded by people would affect me psychologically. Until, of course, the human element was removed from the equation. What a discovery that was! It was like I could feel and experience a place for the first time, with fresh eyes,” Zonca disclosed about her road to recovery.
There’s something eerie about these landscapes that are untouched by humans but with that strangeness, they also gain this sense of freedom running throughout each of the photographs. Zonca’s art is just as much about the psychological barriers that can be an effect of living in a place that never takes a second to breathe and the only way to free your mind is to escape in a literal sense to somewhere such as Altiplano — which is the polar opposite of a metropolis.
Check out Chiara Zonca’s incredible photographs and visit her website, here.
All images provided to Far Out Magazine by Chiara Zonca. See more of here work, here.