“A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine. Fabulous!”Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film maker
by Lars Borges
Imperial is the youngest and poorest county in California. Although located in the Colorado Desert on the San Andreas Fault and, with temperatures of up to 50°C and an average annual precipitation of only 75 mm, marked by life-threatening conditions, it is one of the main producers of winter vegetables, salads, grain, and alfalfa in the USA. The demand for water is enormous – old water rights ensure Imperial County vast quantities of water from the Colorado River, which is pumped via a network of channels and pipelines into an area as large as the entire metropolitan region of Los Angeles: the largest irrigation system on the North American continent.
The unemployment rate is the second highest in the USA – incomes are at the lower end of the scale in otherwise wealthy California. Here, hard-working people, especially Hispanics, labour in the fields to the point of exhaustion, while the homeless, the displaced, and downshifters live the flip-side of the American Dream. With his impressive landscapes and portraits, photographer Lars Borges dedicates his book project to these people in an effort to point out the effects of unbridled global capitalism on man and nature.
Hailey, El Centro.
Farmland, desert and the Salton Sea, Fondo area.
Joey in the thermal pool, BLM Hot springs.
Onion field, near Seeley.
Sunshine on Desert Gardens Drive, El Centro.
Supervisor at the rodeo, Brawley.
New River Delta, Salton Sea.
Sarah, Salton Sea Beach.
Main Street, El Centro.
Chris in his Beetle, El Centro.
Cooling truck, Algodones Dunes.
Marina Drive, Salton City.
Stefanie at the Imperial Valley Mall, Salvation Mountain.