Eternal Labour Scheme [ELS]
Dynamite had been set in place inside the depths of Mt. Cerro Rico. A few minutes later, the town of Potosi, Bolivia was awakened by its sudden roar.
The summit of Cerro Rico had collapsed in the most dramatic manner, trapping a group of miners and generating a dust-cloud spectacle, witnessed by the world’s media. Known for its profitable silver-mining over centuries, Cerro Rico is the ‘rich hill’ that bankrolled the Spanish empire and it is the grave of millions. It’s 36 days since the collapse; Cerro Rico has spared the lives of 9 miners, who were recovered alive, and claimed 1 in the process.
The Famous 10 have become instant celebrities. But it is not long afterwards that the whole accident is revealed as an elaborate plan designed by the Federation of Bolivian Miners to ensure the survival of the town. Cerro Rico’s silver is running out and Jason, of our Accident Design Bureau has choreographed the collapse of ‘the-mountain-that-eats-men’ and instigated its eternal rebuilding. The hardship of the miners had become an unexpected tourist attraction, but it was a commodity with an expiry date. In order to renew the contract with the mountain, the noble act of eternally rebuilding Cerro Rico will now become a new spectacle.
Fuelled by the drama of a global media event, we flock to it, to see the imminent disasters, to again relish in the seduction of struggle, to take photographs, to buy souvenirs and to keep the mountain-that-eats-men fed for generation after generation.