Original Title: Últimas noticias del Sur
Pictures from Daniel Mordzinski
1996: Luis Sepúlveda and his socio, his accomplice photographer Daniel Mordzinski embark on a journey without return ticket to discover Patagonia.
With luggage limited to - almost - a quill and a Leica, they will cross the Argentinean Patagonia from San Carlos de Bariloche to Cape Horn and drive up through Chile until reaching the Chiloé peninsula.
Real storyteller, Sepúlveda embarks us with them on this land of legends. Disguised as a travel diary and a collection of short stories, it is in fact a powerful manifesto that the author gives us, illustrated in black and white by Mordzinski’s pictures. Just like us, they do this trip to meet the others, the gaucho, the Patagonia Express’s mechanic, the old miraculous gardener, the descendant of Davy Crockett, these men and women with skin and personality hardened by the wind of the austral steppe, these ordinary heroes, which, in a certain way, are to be found in all the work of Sepúlveda.
Unfortunately, the news from the South are not very good. We do not find Luis Sepúlveda’s usual optimism: "Originally, this book was the chronicle of a trip made by two friends but time, the violence of the economic upheavals and the voracity of the winners have turn it into a collection of posthumous news, the novel of a disappeared region" explains the author in the introduction. "Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego have always been considered territories that can be robbed with impunity. In the name of breeding and progress, ethnic groups, races, forests have been exterminated, and when there is no longer a single living Indian, their remains, their mummies, have been sent to museums of the world. "
Despite this, the writer and the photographer approach people and their stories with simplicity and kindness. An approach made possible by the absence of an agenda and time constraint, "I devoted myself to what I can do best, namely to waste my time."
On our side, the fact that we will progress on foot will also give us, I am sure, the opportunity to listen, to share and to immortalize beautiful stories, legends from the South of Europe. We saw it during our recent trip in the Alps: how to engage the conversation with these Italian shepherds or this farmer during the milking of the cows if we go at full speed? We cannot wait to deliver our portraits of these characters met on the road.