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15.12.2017

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"Cotopaxi lies just fifty kilometres south of Quito, the capital of Ecuador. It is considered one of the most dangerous, active volcanoes in the world; but the legends that surrounds it are linked to love. According to mythology, the warriors Cotopaxi and Chimborazo are supposed to have fought for the love of beautiful Tungurahua. I was born in Ecuador and I grew up with these legends. I have also heard many stories about the eruption in 1877, which caused the deaths of hundreds. In 2015, people saw their 5897-metre neighbour reawaken. While I was there I accompanied Segundo Benites, a farmer who was one of the last to leave the area. Tears poured down his face, because he had to abandon his home. After the death of his father he had committed himself to the land and had put down strong roots there. Family means a lot there – and people often refer to Cotopaxi as ‘Father Cotopaxi’, and learn to respect his explosive temper."  

Cris Toala Olivares documented the Cotopaxi eruption with a Leica M240 and Summicron-M 35 mm f/2. See his pictures of volcanic activity worldwide in LFI 1/2018.

Cris Toala Olivares

Born in Manta, Ecuador, in 1982, Toala studied medicine in the Netherlands before turning to photography. He sold his guitar to purchase his first camera. Toala’s pictures have appeared in National Geographic, GEO and others.

www.toalaolivares.com
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