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Copper Fields: Sourcing Glencore

Severin Bigler

This endeavour sets off as a personal journey, to investigate the operations and conditions created by Glencore, a Swiss global corporation specialized in production and trade of mineral resources, energy, and agricultural products. After initial inquiries in Baar, Switzerland, the siege of Glencore’s headquarters, Severin Bigler travelled to the mining-town of Yauri in South-east Peru, close to the Tintaya copper mine. Glencore, who owns the mine, has been criticised by local communities as well as by international NGOs to be responsible for the immense contamination of the environment, having generated a wide array of social and political conflicts in the community.

While revealing the complexity of Glencore’s concealed operations and its effects, the personal experiences and the photographer’s own role in this process gradually came into question during the making of the project. How can the photographic medium make visible the hidden complexities of a global corporation? And how can the photographer’s personal approach create narratives that serve as credible evidence in order to gather the interest of a wider public? Throughout various stages of the project, visual experiments, original local footage, photographs, and videos have been developed. These visual “re-sources” are brought into a non-linear composition that invites the viewer to engage with the mechanisms of the global commodity trade.


Glencore, Baar, Switzerland
Tintaya-Mine, Espinar 2015
Traveling to the Mine, 2015
Florentino Quispe and Me, Espinar 2015
Alpaca Yauri, Espinar 2015
Alpaca Yauri, Espinar 2015
Copperfields: Sourcing Glencore. Exhibition, 2015
Copperfields: Sourcing Glencore. Exhibition, 2015
Copperfields: Sourcing Glencore. Exhibition, 2015

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