Photographer and Professor Jeremiah Gilbert is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography. From the project ‘Bolivia’s Great Train Graveyard’. To see Jeremiah’s body of work, click on any image.
Just outside of Uyuni, gateway to Bolivia’s salt flats, lies a train graveyard. British engineers who arrived near the end of the 19th century built the train lines and formed a sizable community in Uyuni. The rail construction started in 1888 and was encouraged by then Bolivian President Aniceto Arce, who believed Bolivia would flourish with a good transport system, but the local indigenous people, who saw it as an intrusion into their lives, constantly sabotaged it.
Mining companies mostly used the trains but, in the 1940s, the mining industry collapsed, and many trains were abandoned. The salt winds that blow over Uyuni have corroded all of the metal. As the site is without guards or even a fence, these pieces were picked over and vandalized long ago.
All images & text © Jeremiah Gilbert
By Jeremiah Gilbert
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