Kornspeicher and Inspektorhaus
at Novalis-Museum Wiederstedt

Cerro Rico – The Silver Mountain

In 1545, a silver vein was discovered in the Bolivian highland, in a mountain that became the source of European wealth. Under its shadow, the city of Potosí was founded, which rapidly grew into the world’s richest city. Today, the shine of the heyday is long gone. Since the discovery of the lode of silver, however, not too much has changed in terms of working conditions. Around 15.000 miners are still digging themselves through the mountain in order to scratch the last silver reserves off the rock face. Armin Thalhammer’s debut film offers an impressive insight into the hard daily routines of Cerro Rico’s miners. Dust, headlights and hollow hammering generate a unique and bizarre scenery at one of the most dangerous workplaces.

Armin Thalhammer, AT 2015, 30'