the ‘el alto‘ project is a combination of bolivian architectural photographs by photographer nick ballon, as well as still life images of the miniature versions by photographer jonathan minster. each building is represented as a diptych that connects the vibrant and flourishing growth of bolivia with the old, spiritual belief of indigenous aymara people who largely make up the population of el alto.


the idea emerged from the largest miniature trade fair in the world, alasitas, where thousands meet to trade their miniature bikes, tables, laptops and cars to then get those blessed by a kallawalla or yatiri, who are known as medicinal healers and mystics in the andes. it is the andeans belief for the ekeko, the god of all small things bringing abundance and prosperity to those with enough faith, who will hear their prayers and transforms those little miniatures and make them reality. it is perhaps for this wondrous belief that this new style of architecture emerged in bolivia’s fastest growing city el alto.


there are three diptych prints available to buy from the project and all proceeds will go towards nick ballon’s new photo-book called ‘the bitter sea’. ‘the bitter sea’ project will be a photographic exploration into why the landlocked country of bolivia still has a painful longing for its sea lost in a war to chile over 129 years ago. 


‘edificio mama natty’ 
48cm x 31cm hahnemühle pearl print


‘el tren diamante’
48cm x 31cm hahnemühle pearl print

48cm x 31cm hahnemühle pearl print


48cm x 31cm hahnemühle pearl print


via creative review