Luis Ascui a former student of PIC, presents the beginning of a new photographic journey into his homeland of Chile, with images of the indigenous Mapuche community who live in remote, southern regions of the country that border Argentina.
In his professional life he’s received the 2000 Nikon Award for Photojournalism Asia, covering Indonesia’s political transition to a post-Suharto government. Other significant work includes images from Afghanistan during the Taliban’s siege of Kabul, Cambodia when the Khmer Rouge were operational, Mexico’s Zapatista-indigenous uprising, and the civil conflict in northern Sri Lanka from the Tamil Tiger base in Kilinochchi. He has also photographed on location for broadcast networks (National Geographic and The Discovery Channel) in Mongolia’s Gobi desert, and from Mount Everest’s base camp 2, and undertakes “extreme” shoots in the Oceania region for programs such as Man vs. Wild with Bear Grylls and Naked Survivor with Ed Stafford. Much of his work in breaking news – for Reuters, Getty Images, AP, and magazines like TIME and newspapers around the globe – over the last two decades has covered frontline natural disaster stories such as the devastating Asia Boxing Day tsunami, and earthquakes in Pakistan, Nias Island, and Chile.
His interest in human stories explores history and some of the contemporary challenges faced by Chile’s indigenous culture. What comes to light is a struggle for recognition among these visual narratives. Early in his career, Luis received a grant from Panos (London) for documenting Mayan culture in Central America and those images were exhibited in Copenhagen at the United Nations Summit for Social Development. These recent photographs from Chile continue this visual narrative that began some 30 years ago.
Publishers and news agencies include:
The New York Times, The Times (London), The Independent (London), The Daily Telegraph (London), The International Herald Tribune, The Financial Times (London), and magazines: TIME International, Asia Week (Hong Kong), Focus Magazine (Germany), Hombre De Maiz Magazine (Central America), El Clarin (Argentina), Reuters (Central America), Reuters (Australia), The Associated Press (Cambodia), The Associated Press (Australia), Agence France-Presse (London), SIPA Press (New York), Medecins Sans Frontiers (Afghanistan), ICRC – International Centre for the Red Cross (Afghanistan).