Nostalgia de la Luz

Personal, Travel

This is one of the guest posts dedicated to the thinest, yet the longest country on our planet – Chile. A fascinating and remote country which is surrounded with natural frontiers: be it Cordillera de los Andes from the East, Pacific Ocean from the West, the driest desert on Earth – Atacama from the North or the most hostile sailing route from the South – Drake’s Passage separating the South American mainland from the Antarctica. Oh, and the Easter Island, the most secluded place on Earth.

I was lucky enough to travel around the Mid- and Northern part of Chile during a couple of weeks in 2011, thanks to my very close friend who is currently dedicating a great deal of his time to the community project in Patagonia.

My memories and the necessity to put my experience in writing were triggered though by assisting lately in the world’s premiere of the Chilean movie – ‘El Botón de Nácar’, a second part of the documentary covering the geographic and historic complexities and ambiguities of this country. I was not surprised when the movie won the Silver Bear prize at the Berlinale for the script, as I was amazed by the sheer beauty of its poetic narrative.

Since then, I followed up with the first documentary called ‘Nostalgia de la Luz’, picturing the Atacama desert from two perspectives. One of them is a search for discovering the past of the galaxies through the astronomic observatories located on the Atacama Desert due to its clarity of the sky. The second one is seen through the lense of the group of elderly women still looking for remaining human body parts of their relatives, who were imprisoned, tortured and ultimately killed and thrown all over the desert during the military regime in the 70s.

I remember my amazement by the clarity of the starry constellations, the light of the desert sun, but also the inexplicable melancholy that could be read in people’s faces. I reconnected with this familiar feeling which I often got when had lived in Poland, surprisingly in the most far-off country in the world. And I still keep the grains of Atacama’s salt and soil with me wherever I live, to keep this moment present.