The salt of the Earth

Anonim

Salar de Uyuni. What is this circle, in the heart of an expanse of dazzling white? We are in the largest salt flat in the world: the Salar de Uyuni, in Bolivia, on a plateau of the Andes. A desert over ten thousand square kilometers in size, covered by a thick crust of salt, which hides water saturated with salts and rich in minerals such as lithium. This lunar environment is what remains of an ancient lake. The curious circular formation is a "mine": in some parts of the Salar, in fact, the workers break the salt crust and make it a sort of regular bricks. Some prefer to create round extraction areas - like this one - other square ones. That Bolivian is one of the stages of the journey that Mikel Landa and Luke Duggleby made in the places where salt was extracted: they documented them with photos now gathered in the book Salz der Erde, published in German for the publisher Mare.

Assal. A salt caravan in Ethiopia. This is how the transport of white gold extracted from the area of ​​Lake Assal takes place: a low salt lake in a depression at 155 meters below sea level, in Djibouti, on the border with Ethiopia. Large slabs are cut in the expanse of salt that surrounds the lake: these are then worked into regular blocks weighing up to 7 kg. And everything is done by hand, with craft tools. Then there is the transport in caravan: it takes two days to cover the distance between the extraction zone near the village of Hammadilla and the Berahle deposit, overcoming a vertical drop of 900 meters uphill. Every day, hundreds of caravans are on the road: generally, they are small groups of four or six camels and donkeys.

Mirzaladi. With masks to protect yourself from the sun, you work to make salt from the Mirzaladi, a salt lake in Azerbaijan. Salt is piled up in large heaps on the banks, where it dries for a few days: then it is loaded onto trucks (many still from the Soviet era) and transported to the factory where it is worked. However, some horse-drawn carts remained, which, being light, move without sinking into the lake area. The Mirzaladi produces 20, 000 tons of white gold per year, 90% of which is consumed directly in Azerbaijan and the rest is exported to Georgia. # See also: # A cube of salt

Sawu. The villager in Indonesia resents his family's "salt baskets" with seawater. Every two days it makes a sort of topping up and in about a week, with the evaporation, enough salt is deposited, which is then collected. We are on the island of Sawu, where for generations in some coastal villages you get salt in this particular way. Sea water is transported, in containers made of intertwined palm leaves, to the baskets, into which it is poured. This production takes place in the dry season, from April to December. A family can produce about 300 kg of salt in one season, which is sold in a nearby market for the equivalent of 50 cents per kg, or twice as much in a more distant city. # See also: # Why sea water is so rich in salt?

Guérande. From above, the salt pans of Guérande seem to be a palette of different shades of green and reddish: a system of canals and basins in which sea waters, entering at high tide, end up evaporating. The Guérande peninsula, in the French department of the Loire-Atlantique, is known for its salt marshes: the tradition is centuries old, and about 300 "paludiers" still work there. They produce, for example, the renowned fleur de sel: it is a layer of crystals that forms on the surface of the water, in particular atmospheric conditions, and which is collected by hand using a tool called "lousse", a sort of rectangular skimmer end of a stick.

The cover of the photo book Salz der Erde (in German, "the salt of the Earth"), from the publisher Mare. Mikel Landa and Luke Duggleby have brought together photos taken in 25 countries on all continents, in locations where salt is still collected or extracted according to ancient traditions. From Trapani to Gujarat, in India.

You might also like: Why do you throw salt on icy roads? Crimea, the hypnotic beauty of the "rotten sea" The salt of the desert A treasure of mine The strange beauty of the Salar de Uyuni salt mines . What is this circle, in the heart of an expanse of dazzling white? We are in the largest salt flat in the world: the Salar de Uyuni, in Bolivia, on a plateau of the Andes. A desert over ten thousand square kilometers in size, covered by a thick crust of salt, which hides water saturated with salts and rich in minerals such as lithium. This lunar environment is what remains of an ancient lake. The curious circular formation is a "mine": in some parts of the Salar, in fact, the workers break the salt crust and make it a sort of regular bricks. Some prefer to create round extraction areas - like this one - other square ones. That Bolivian is one of the stages of the journey that Mikel Landa and Luke Duggleby made in the places where salt was extracted: they documented them with photos now gathered in the book Salz der Erde, published in German for the publisher Mare.