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Land Stories

Twisha Ghandi

Humans have historically relied on resource extraction for their survival leaving indeleble traces on the Earth landscapes. Mineral extraction is no different, and for centuries, it has transformed pristine natural areas into wastelands. The race for lithium extraction that signals our times is no different. Found in building materials, computers, batteries, and a host of other products too numerous to list, Lithium is essential to daily life around the world.
Currently home to more than 600 ghost towns, Nevada’s toxic and hazardous landscapes have many lessons to teach. Ongoing extraction and prospecting of new mining sites make it a never ending cyclical process of land transformation that spans from active mining sites, to depletion, abandonment and the resulting ghost town. In this territory, raising awareness of the impacts of the ever growing wastelands at the service of urban consumption in the very distant cities is important. Using education and tourism as a medium, the project aims to open access to these landscape stories.
The first step towards this is making these stories accessible on regional and global scales by giving visibility to the network of ghost towns, nearly active towns and active lithium mining sites. The documentation of sites and the physical access to experience them by tourists, local inhabitants and other species will enable the broad dissemination of the stories.
“With great access comes great responsibility.” There are current infrastructural and regulatory issues due to which tourism is having an adverse effect on the natural habitat of Nevada. This project aims to provide access and knowledge to these landscapes through three designed networks. First catering to the car passengers, second for the bikers and third for the hikers. Interventions plugged in these networks help the tourists be a part of the natural habitat surrounding them. These interventions help peak the curiosity of each user type to learn more about the lithium landscapes.

Resource extraction, even lithium mining, has long been a part of settlement, but often it turns natural areas into wastelands. Rather than losing these lessons, this project seeks to make these stories part of the experience of travelers by creating networks for car passengers, bikers, and hikers to engage with and learn about the landscapes they pass through.

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