This photograph forms part of the series “What lies beneath”. South America is known to be the region of the world’s largest amount of Lithium (58%). The “Lithium Triangle” lies in the Andean southwest corner, between Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.
Although Lithium is crucial in the transition to clean energy, its extraction presents several environmental issues that are slowly affecting the area. The 18-month procedure could eventually induce a water sustainability crisis: 1 ton of lithium requires 500,000 gallons of water.
The lithium industry should approach this limited resource with environmental practices, that will insure the future of water and salt sources. The series aims to show “what lies above” the lithium resources: salt flats that will eventually be mined for the extraction of the mineral.
In this image, the white salt desert located in the North of Argentina in Salinas Grandes, contrasts with the scattered salt pools in an evocative mappemonde form. This 200-mile-wide desert of salt flats lies above of 300,100 hectares of lithium brine that have been recently discovered for development.
The aerial perspective of the image takes the viewer into a visual voyage of wonder, speculating on the image’s scale and questioning the “what” of the image.
Zooming in, you may perceive ants, that are not ants, but people. This is the only image of the series that allows the viewer to understand the magnitude of the scale.
Medium: Aerial photography - Giclée Hahnemüle print w/option of frame with anti-reflective art glass w/option of floating frame
No. of Editions available: 1/25
Country of Origin: Argentina