comment 0

From Mars to Venus: Activism of the Future (2023)

Kiruna – Sweden’s northernmost town, 200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle – is located in Sápmi, home of the Sámi people. Chile’s Atacama Desert – one of the most arid places in the world – has been inhabited by the Licanantay people for thousands of years. In both regions, Indigenous activists resist the “slow violence” of the extractive industries by maintaining their cultural practices and traditional knowledges in an increasingly fragmented territory.

As the two sites become key players in the transition to a “green economy”, industrial colonisation has fragmented their territories and the profits of state-owned mining companies and multinational corporations are prioritised over the rights of native inhabitants. In the video, Kiruna – home to the world’s largest underground iron ore mine and where substantial deposits of rare earth elements have recently been found – converses with the Atacama, where the world’s richest reserves of copper and lithium are being exploited. The expansion of mining projects in these extreme regions has led to a rise in social, environmental, and economic injustices.

The video installation draws upon the scale of these operations by connecting territorial struggles concerning water, biodiversity, and identity loss with space observation. In Kiruna, where unjust state policies reiterate colonial patterns, the iron mining industry has historically occupied the traditional lands of the Sámi and affected reindeer herding patterns. In the Atacama, the natural environment is ‘sacrificed’ in the name of the progress and historically copper and more recently lithium extraction activities – both key to the energy transition and the active materials in rechargeable batteries – are drying up subterranean aquifers and preventing access to fresh water for the Likanantay communities – and they see none of the benefits of the extraction.


Lara Garcia Reyne

Sound Design & Music
Udit Duseja

Paul Willis

Karen Luza, Maj-Doris Rimpi, Carola Aguilar Cruz, Veronica Moreno, Åsa Andersson, Janne Sirniö

In collboration with Ellen Lapper

Translations to German
Katherine Leward

On the occasion of
Into the Deep: Mines of the Future
Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen, Germany
26.05.2023 – 05.11.2023

Curated by
Claudia Emmertand Ina Neddermeyer

Production supported by
Zero programme of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultral Foundation)
Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien (Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media)

Fieldwork supported by
AHRC project Frozen Future (Traces of Nitrate) Royal College of Arts (RCA) / Univerisity of Brighton, UK
FORMAS project Indigenous perspectives on forest fires, drought and climate change: Sápmi, Centre for Multidisciplinary Studies on Racism (CEMFOR), Uppsala University, Sweden


Link to exhibition


Download exhibition booklet [German]
Download exhibition text [English]
Download conversartion with Ina Neddermeyer

Filed under: Uncategorized

About the Author

Posted by

Im a Chilean born, London based visual artist and researcher.

Leave a Reply