Hi guys, here’s another quick post from’ Puerto Montt in southern Chile.
On top of the grimy, fishing port-city vibe that I discussed in the last post, Puerto Montt is also suffering from an economic slump as a result of a contagious disease outbreak in 2008 that devastated the formerly booming salmon farming industry. It is generally accepted that the catastrophe was avoidable but their were no adequate controls or regulations imposed by government to prevent the spread of transmitable fishbourne diseases. Thirty thousand direct and indirect jobs were lost as a result of the crisis, many losing their homes in the process. This economic depression can be seen around town in the run down and abandoned homes and businesses. I feel this picture captures the sense of loss of former wealth, abandonment and depression that is still present in many parts of town two years after the height of the crisis. I also like the view of the ramshackle power lines in this shot as these are a constant fixture of urban South America, yet are rarely depicted in the photography I’ve seen from the continent. They are present just about everywhere, except some wealthier parts of big towns where they are sometimes run underground. A few months later in Rio de Janeiro I was made aware of this when a section of the main street that I was staying on ‘Nossa Senhora de Copacabana’ actually exploded as a result of contact between the gas mains and electric cables under the road. The explosion sent a taxi flying and damaged a few shop fronts but miraculously no-one was killed.
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