A revolution (from the Latin revolution "a turn around") is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time. Aristotle described two types of political revolution
-Complete change from one constitution to another
- Modification of an existing constitution.
As I took my first photograph and developed my first print I was immediately seduced by how I could see the world through my own lens. This period of my photographic adolescence was filled with questions , experimentation and failure. However I began to find my own voice and tell my own stories both photographically and personally.
For me the photographic image is about documenting our collective histories and remembering the past. After leaving my birth country of Chile for Canada after the military coup of 1973 I grew up with more questions than answers about this period. My passion for photography grew out of my need to recover some of my lost memories and of a country I never knew and wanting to find out something more about our families past.
The camera image is a technology of memory, Photography also has the ability to conjure up strong memories from the past while still being fixed in the present. Memory appears to reside within the photographic image. Yet memory does not reside in a photograph, or in any camera image, so much as it is produced by it. We also share in this collective memory as our memories may have altered or even changed over time but we are united all by the photograph image.
Memories of my father taking photographs of our family growing up conjure up a story that was told to be on a recent trip back to Chile post ? earthquake . That my father as a young photographer in his youth would take photographs of people in our hometown of Concepion. He became very popular taking photographs of people all day until he either didn?t have any film or didn?t realized that he didn?t even have any film in the camera. However everyone in the community felt very important even for just a a moment and not ever asking to see these never existing photographs. This important piece of information of my father gave me a better sense of who was this person who I really never knew growing up.
I began to mature and develop as a photographer I also began to move into filmmaking as another extension of my artistic expression.
I have developed this technique of using both photography and video in almost all my work since I began . As a documentary filmmaker I often shoot ,produce, direct, edit and my projects from start to finish. Each of these projects weaves together unusual and artistic approaches to the documentary genre in order to find ever more effective methods to allow viewers to witness experiences outside of their own lives and circumstances.
One of the best examples of this was my most challenging and best work experience as a photographer/video journalist . It was to document the aftermath of the 7.8 earthquake days later in the small port town of Tocopilla in the Antofagasa desert of northern Chile. Working alone and having to photograph ad interview people at there most vulnerable as well as having to learn to trust strangers during very desperate times. I was there back and forth documenting the process involved in trying to rebuild the town and promises of a government to forgotten mining town. I felt a bond with the people who even with so little and who lost so much had open there doors and there homes as I was the only one telling their story after the media had left in the first few days.
I use my camera and I often choose stories and subjects that represent members of our society who fall outside of the scope of mainstream media. My gift as an artist is the empathy I have with people and the characters in my images. . I use the medium of photography and video to find the best way to make their situations understood by unaware or unconcerned audiences.
Christian was born in Concepcion , Chile to Chilean parents before he and his family fled to Canada after the bloody military coup of 1973.
He began his studies in 2000 at Ryerson in New Media Program before return to study Media Arts at Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in Oakville. He concentrated on documentary production and his 2nd year film won best student documentary titled, ?School of Hope? awarded by the History Channel.
After completing his studies at Sheridan College he began to work in Toronto as a production stills and corporate events photographer as well as a published writer and photojournalist. His photographs and articles have been published on the CBC the National, Reuters, HotDocs, Documentary Magazine, Santiago Times,C21Media ,Here Magazine and TLN etc. He plans in the near future to complete a post- graduate certificate in New Media Journalism at Sheridan College.
Christian has also taught a youth film production workshops at the Columbus Centre in 2001 and for the Planet in Focus Summer and March Break Film camps for the last two years.
However instead of taking the same safe route as his fellow graduates in getting a regular film/ television job he took the harder route.
He had taken a previous trip to his native Chile and began to fall in love with the country he had never really known before. At the same time he also uncovered a story of a controversial Canadian mining project called Pascua Lama that would bring back for the next few years.
He teamed up with fellow Chilean ? Canadian CBC actress of Heartland Michelle Morgan to work on this independent documentary.
His first film called the ?Pascua Lama Project? , currently in postproduction , is a 1-hour documentary of a journey to a controversial Canadian Mining project some 5000 meters in the northern Andes desert of Atacama.
The 2nd documentary short is a film on the Bolivian social movement happening in Bolivia from the Referendum to the national elections this past November 2009. As well as working on 3 television documentaries for CBC the National on the Chile earthquake earlier this year.
He is currently developing a documentary on returning to his birthplace of Concepcion Chile shortly after the massive 8.8 earthquake and tsunami. To look for answers about the many secrets about my father?s past that were revealed as he tried desperately to search for him while he was vacation near the earthquake.
For the last several years he has been living and working in between Santiago ,Chile and Toronto Canada as a freelance photojournalist and filmmaker. This fall he is currently preparing two photographic exhibitions of his work from Latin America over the last few years . The first a video of photographs on the them ?Revolution ? for the Salvador Allende Festival . As well as a photographic exhibition of local photographers from Concepcion ,Chile the 2nd largest city of Concepcion during the 200 anniversary of the Bicentenary of Chile.
I am currently developing a documentary on discovering many secrets about my father?s past that were revealed as I tried desperately to search for him while he was vacation near the Epicenter of the earthquake.
"A country without documentary is like a family without a photo album"