• LOUBON Patrice

Freddy Mamani, an architect of the 21st century

During my first trip to the Plurinational State of Bolivia in 2014, what a visual shock I experimented in front of the city of El Alto, this city of barely 36 years old that overlooks La Paz, the highest capital in the world (3,640mt high). Buildings hitherto never seen elsewhere adorn this emerging urbanity in an unusual way! What a pleasure to witness this: the birth of a city through a completely new urban and social phenomenon, the re-appropriation of the Native people, through architecture, of its own power and destiny.
It is indeed the rich Aymara people who are the masters of this experience and Freddy Mamani their prophet!
Engineer, bricklayer and self-taught architect born in Bolivia in 1971, Freddy Mamani is the inventor of new structures qualified «neo-Andean architecture» or Cholet. There are now more than a hundred projects in the Bolivian city of El Alto and many followers.
He began working as an assistant bricklayer at the age of 14, and then followed a training the following year at the Technological Faculty of Civil Architecture of the University Mayor of San Andrés (CESU) in La Paz and studied civil engineering at the Bolivian University of Informatics (UBI) in La Paz.
Today he enjoys international recognition, he shows his work and builds all around the world his hallucinating vernacular architectures, reaffirming his Indian origin, humble and rural, as well as the awareness of the power of his act and the authenticity of his achievements.
My project does not stop there and my intention now is to continue this work with documentation on the construction sites of the Cholets, as well as on the sumptuous interiors of these achievements, and to finish, produce portraits of their main characters: its workers and promoters.

LOUBON Patrice

Graduated from the National School of Photography in Arles (1992), holds a Master 1 in Visual Arts from the University of Montpellier (2002). Founder and director of Negpos project (Nîmes), Artistic Director of the Images and Heritage Biennale, the Rencontres Images et Ville (Nîmes) and the Fotolimo Festival (Cerbère-Portbou).
His favorite subject is the city. Each new approach generates different devices and shapes that can integrate photography, video, walking, performance and installation. Since 2003, he has been setting up projects where sharing and co-production are at the heart of the process. He has had several one-man and group shows, mainly in France, but also elsewhere: Rabat, Santiago, Chile, London, Shanghai, ZhenZhou and Havana. His work can be found in public and private collections in China, France, Switzerland, Argentina, Chile, Morocco and Cuba.