Translation by Ellen Donnison
Cristóbal and Alejandro Olivares are Chilean photographers, both of whom founded the independent editorial initiative, Buen Lugar Ediciones, which prints photographic books in Chile.
Buen Lugar Ediciones was set up in Santiago de Chile in January 2014. Its first publication was entitled, Living Periferia, and was filled with work by Alejandro Olivares. The first two volumes from their collection of centrefolds were entitled, The Chilean Winter, filled with photography by Alejandro Olivares, and The Chilean Uprising, complete with photography by Cristóbal Olivares. Both centrefolds were launched in 2014 and already both have nearly sold out. Currently, Buen Lugar Ediciones are editing four new centrefolds and a book, all of which are limited editions and will be launched during the first semester of 2015. Behind Buen Lugar Ediciones are Aribel González, who is in charge of design and Cristóbal Olivares and Alejandro Olivares who are in charge of editing.
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Ventana Latina: How did Buen Lugar Ediciones come about and who is behind it?
Cristóbal & Alejandro Olivares: Buen Lugar Ediciones is an independent initiative relating to the publication of photo books and photographic prints. This grew out of our need to have somewhere we could publish our own works and be in charge of the editorial line. To date we have three publications: Living Periferia, (only 20 copies are now left out of 200) and two centrefolds centring on the student demonstrations in Chile during 2011 and 2013, (now only 30 copies remain). The two centrefolds are the first in a series that already has future authors lined up but doesn’t yet have the finance we would ideally like.
We are currently looking ways to finance our project whilst looking for authors so we make the various publications we have in mind for 2015, a reality.
VL: How have you promoted Buen Lugar Ediciones since it was launched?
CO & AO: Mainly through social media, which is without a doubt one of the best tools available today.
VL: 3. What is Buen Lugar ediciones’ objective within the field of photography?
CO & AO: To be able to publish photographic books whilst managing our finances within the current economy. We would like to be able to finance our other authors and continue to experiment with format and design ideas, which is incredibly important to us.
VL: Have you thought about including other types of art in Buen Lugar ediciones, such as video, design, illustration, etc?
CO & AO: For the moment no, as we don’t consider ourselves particularly well-informed about these other disciplines and how to edit them properly. Additionally we have a lot of things to do and to learn with regard to the photo book; when we make more progress in this area who knows what we will be able to do next.
VL: Is there some kind of selection process regarding the photographers you choose?
CO & AO: Yes, now we already have a list of five photographers for future projects. We are also in conversation with other photographers and are still looking for more.
The selection depends on the idea behind the publication but we always gravitate towards a body of work that speaks for itself and has publication potential.
VL: How does the photo book format fare in Chile?
CO & AO: To us it seems like a field of art that is constantly growing. Currently editorials that inspired us to start such projects like Ediciones La Visita, FIFV Ediciones, LOM, Perez-Lopez, among others, are important players within the world of photography that maintain and promote interest in this kind of format, which, we believe, is becoming more widely known and popular. They are now being used for various things, from self-publications to fanzines and free magazines. In our opinion this is a wonderful thing and we hope it will continue like this.
VL: How will you promote yourselves in the future?
CO & AO: We hope by editing, designing and publishing several more books.
VL: What hopes do you have regarding Buen Lugar Ediciones’ community of photographers?
CO & AO: We would actually like there to be more of us, and not just photographers. We want to connect with a wider variety of the public such as people from other social circles. We hope to create wider audiences.
VL: What style of photography do you try and promote through the editorial?
CO & AO: The style or the genre isn’t what is important. What we care about is whether the photography has something to tell or provoke.
VL: Do you believe there is a type of Latin American style existing within photography?
CO & AO: Yes we believe such a thing exists; this ‘style’ derives from a mixture of various influences, for example social uprisings that aim to challenge social injustice, which subsequently develops and shapes significant characteristics. ‘Style’ is something that constantly changes and grows out personal or popular memories and stories. All of this is shaped by certain traditions and geographical locations, which give a context and a meaning to all of this.
To visit Buen Lugar Ediciones, click here.
To view the book, Living Periferia, click here.