Ballon’s fascination and personal connection with Bolivia is brought to life with his documentation of Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano (LAB), one of the world’s oldest surviving airlines. Founded in 1925, it has played an important role in every stage of the country’s history. Currently under threat of closure and with its downed fleet of aircraft slowly crumbling away, this airline continues to survive through the loyalty and faith of its remaining 180 staff.
Sensitive to this poignant and transitional time, Ballon has spent six months recording the present day story of LAB, culminating in a body of work, which has grown organically beyond a book and into a multi layered narrative. LABproject is a prolonged dialogue and lasting presence for LAB whilst it goes through these troubled times – presenting the history and back-story of LAB and its community.
The story of LAB is in many ways the story of Bolivia and its people, resigned to look back at past of glory and grandeur which is at once half-imagined and half-remembered. It is the story of a people perpetually looking towards a promised future which never seems to arrive. Like a phoenix, they desperately need to rise up from the ashes.
This is the first time that LAB has been so extensively portrayed in both words and images, and the first time that the story has been told outside of Bolivia. Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano may be downed but its certainly not out.
Nick Ballon / Photography & Concept
Lu Bowan / Editor & Artistic Project Manager
Amaru Villanueva Rance / Writer & Researcher
StudioThomson / Art Direction & Design
Pumkin Alex & Ben / Website