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Coca: The Lost War. A Conversation with Award-Winning Photographer Carlos Villalón

When: Monday, January 11, 2021
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM CT

Where: Online

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Cindy Pingry   (847) 467-1933

Group: Andean Cultures and Histories Working Group

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings, Global & Civic Engagement



After years working in Colombia photographing the longest war in the Americas, Carlos Villalón began documenting the vicious circle of cocaine production, exportation, and consumption that for decades has financed the country's armed conflict. The result was Coca: The Lost War, a photobook comprised by seventy-three color images and four essays written by Murui Muinai sabedor Calixto Kuiru, drug policy reform advocate Ethan Nadelmann, anthropologist Wade Davis, and journalist Karl Penhaul. In conversation with Lina Britto (associate professor, Department of History, and author of Marijuana Boom), Villalón takes us from the tropical Andes and the Amazonian jungle to the streets of Colombian, Mexican and US cities to explore how coca, the sacred plant of South American indigenous peoples, is transformed into lethal cocaine, and the price we paid for the war on drugs.

Carlos Villalón is a Chilean photographer whose work has been featured in National Geographic, Time, Newsweek, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and others. His photos on Latin America's cocaine wars have been recognized with an honorable mention at the POYi Awards (2005), and the second place in the World Press Photo of the Year, general news category (2010). Since 2018, Villalón has been leading workshops on the hidden realities of the drug business in communities with high levels of cocaine sales and consumption in Santiago (Chile).



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