Fieldwork in San Pedro de Atacama

The team travelled for a week to San Pedro de Atacama, a town located in the altiplano very close to the border with Bolivia and Argentina. The minefields were explored in different ways — through interviews with local inhabitants, drawings, photographs and audiovisual recording by drone.

Using a drone camera, videos were taken over the demined areas. These videos were record at a similar route, height and speed to a person walking (i.e. about 2 metres off the ground).

In addition, a photographic and graphic record was made of the objects involved in the minefields, including the mines themselves, demining and mine clearance tools, military vehicles, signage, soil types, vegetation and rocks, among others. Among these materials, we gained access to the original military maps on which the minefields were laid. These same maps —handmade in the 1970s and 1980s— are the ones they use today to find and remove mines from the fields.

Finally, we interviewed approximately 20 people, residents and visitors from the area. We talked to a family of shepherds, tour guides, foreign tourists, university students, school children, workers, municipal employees, teachers and military personnel. They all drew a map depicting how they travel the territory, including minefields. We thus built a small archive of subjective maps that reveal the intimate, everyday aspect of San Pedro’s minefields and desert landscape.