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The Spine-Chilling Trip to Cementerio General de Santiago

When you dare to take photos with no qualms in places that are a bit different, you can create a special connection with your camera, and with the life of your country.

The Cementerio General de Santiago in Chile, is a pretty uncommon place to take photos. For instance, a lot of people think that it is “disrespectful” to take photos of a place like that. But if we see it from the artistic point of view, showing reality as it is, can give your photos much more life.

My girlfriend and I dared to go to that spot with no qualms. We took a tripod, our Canons, a Lomography Redscale film, and a 35mm Holga.

We were delighted by the structures, and we went through the big silent park as if it was a place full of life.

There is a gloomy section in which there are some kind of “apartments” for the deceased. They are stacked up one by one, and in each “section” more than one body lies tight with another.

When we arrived to the yard where the Missing Prisioners are buried (people who died during the Military Government, either tortured or executed), it was inevitable to shudder because it looked as if it was taken from a movie.

We kept walking until the buildings became more elaborate, and the huge monuments were facing us. The walk was starting to get calm as we saw entire families resting together. At least, no one slept alone.

There were Greek structures worthy of being photographed, and some other Indian ones showed the diversity of the place. Huge and completely white buildings showed purity and tranquility, and some other ones, grimmer and black, reminded how black it was to die. Personally, it attracted my attention that some of them had shpinxes in the entrance. Thanks to the midday sun, it was a unique photographic moment.

The walk was about to finish, and the gravestones kept surprising us because each of them displayed a personal and original touch. One attracted my attention, because a couple of lovers was buried there.

This is a totally recommendable walk, and I definitely have to do it again. For the brave ones, there is a guided tour through the cemetery, but at night.

Greetings, fellow lomographers, and remember, without qualms and daring to try new things, we can fill our films with life.

LOMO ON!

written by rocafish and translated by lintrs

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The original version of this article is written in: Spanish. It is also available in: Português.