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Argentina. Five photos (5)

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It rains in the desert.
I came to these prairies in 2011, to a project called Las Carceles. It translates to The Prisons, and the legend I was told was that in the past the rulers of this country (there was still no government here) brought the prisoners here and tossed them into this canyons and desert, because the geography was so intricate they could not escape. Las Carceles is therefore a series of crevices on the earth, a series of gashes on the plains, as if some colossal creature had clawed these marks on the soil.
And I have been coming here since then, repeating this peculiar way of getting to know a country by going to its desolate place. Patagonia is a vast landscape, and sometimes when I drive around these loneliness I simply quote a single line from a favorite movie: ďall that spaceĒ. You can drive here until you reach madness, you can drive through this land until it is the road that rolls under you, not your tires running over it.
And of course, Argentina has a special meaning to me. Like its neighbor Bolivia, it has been good to me, it has cared for me. I have loved here, and I have been loved. I have friends and I have, not roots, but attachments. I will be leaving soon and I know the feeling when I sit at that airport, waiting to board that plane: some loneliness, some quiet, some thoughts. Some melancholy, which is the feeling I most attribute to this country.
The desert is vast and dry, but sometimes it rains. It must or otherwise everything would die. The tough as nails vegetation, the creatures that live in it and you can see if you pay attention, they need some water to earn some respite. The strong winds bring the clouds and they drip on top of the land, and the rain washes away the top soil and carve the rocks and together with the wind it withers the land.
And Argentina for me is like that. It is long and vast, and when I am here I do not feel my foreign-ness. I canít say I am an Argentinian, as in THE LAND, but I share some traits. My penchant for emptiness, my love for distances, my enjoyment of immense solitudes. I did not do it this time but one thing I like about Argentina: you can drive. For hours. And basically, remain in the same place.
It rains in the Argentina desert. And for some people, this peculiar country would be nothing more than a vast expanse of desolation.
For me it isnít. Who knows what my memories will be if I ever see these five photos again in my distant future. I hope the memory of the feelings will come back to me then. And I hope it will feel like rain.

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  1. GlennHarman's Avatar
    Wow.....a wonderful last post in this series. I'm going to miss these. I hope you'll do 5 photos from your next adventure as well!!! GH