We have a departure for Chilean muralist INTI today – no figurative mystic signaling secret truths to you from under a hood. This is “El Tamarugo”, a colorful depiction of the native tree of Chile that thrives in arid climates, like the Atacama desert. The artist chose the piece not only to marvel at its abilities but to talk about the “devastation of resources caused by mega-mining in these lands,” he says.
“SQM, the world’s No. 2 lithium producer, cut a deal with Chile in 2018 that allowed it to ramp up output from the Atacama,” says reporter Dave Sherwood from Reuters, “a remote and fragile desert salt flat whose indigenous inhabitants fear may be jeopardized by mining.”
Using pattern and palette from the indigenous cultures of his country, INTI pays tribute to the tree and the fortitude of people who resist the greedy who damage the lands and drain them of life. The Tamarugo as a symbol speaks to “The ability of this species to survive,” he says. “It has been vital to the communities that inhabit these places since ancient times, and a symbol of life and resistance.”
Project Name: “Iquique En Color Es”
Organized by @nomadesert