Jonas Wresch (Germany)

Early life on ‘Cerro Rico’ in Potosi, Bolivia 

At 8 o´clock sharp, Yoddy opens the shaky metal door of her house in order to turn on the compressor that provides the surrounding mines with air. Her mother Maxima (41) and her two brothers Israel (7) and Paul (9) are still lying under the pile of blankets that protects them from the morning chill of the 4000m high altiplano. 

The family lives on the Cerro Rico, the “rich mountain” in Potosí, Bolivia. Like 200 other families, they guard the entrance to one of the 500 silver-mines and therefore receive a payment of 40€ per month, barely enough to buy groceries for two weeks. Without the salary of her husband, who died in a mining accident at the age of 35, Maxima is forced to work in the mines herself. Together with her children, she helps the miners to push the heavy mining cart out of the tunnel, or free the adit of debris. 

Jonas Wresch. Ever since he was at school, long periods abroad have been part of life for Jonas Wresch. In 2005 he spent three months on a language course in Moulins, France. After graduating from high school, he performed his civilian service in Seattle, USA. In 2008, he travelled to Bogotá, Colombia, for the first time in order to take photographs. Many ensuing trips to the South American continent led to several photo series. In 2009, he started studying photography at the Hanover University of Applied Sciences and Arts and completed a six month internship with the newspaper „Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung“. Wresch has worked as a freelancer for Stern, Cicero, Audi, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, the Volkswagen Foundation and others. He has been represented by the German Photoagency “Focus” since 2012. With his work “Immobilis” he exhibited during the Lumix Festival 2012 in Hanover and won the „Deutscher Jugendfotopreis“ (1st prize, category “on the way”.) Currently he focuses again on Colombia for new projects.