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Alexander Zaxarov
Jul 12, 2021

A documentary and portrait photographer Nick Ballon with an Anglo-Bolivian heritage spent six months in Bolivia chronicling the lives of the remaining LAB crew - one of the world’s oldest surviving airlines.

Nick's ongoing 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. Since it’s privatisation in 1994 LAB has suffered at the hands of successive administrations, becoming gradually dismantled due to chronic mismanagement and corruption. Currently under threat of closure and with it’s downed fleet of aircraft slowly crumbling away this airline continues to survive through the loyalty and faith of its remaining 180 unpaid staff.

The images show the surreal days of the men and women left behind, maintaining a sense of activity and continuation in a place that seems to have stopped in time. Soft lighting adds an otherworldly air to the images, including to that of the Ezekiel 36:36 aircraft, one of the only two remaining at Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano.

“The story of LAB is in many ways the story of the Bolivian people, caught between past glory and grandeur, and a promised future that never seems to arrive. It is the story of an airline waiting for a miracle”, Ballon says.

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Alexander Zaxarov
July 12, 2021

A documentary and portrait photographer Nick Ballon with an Anglo-Bolivian heritage spent six months in Bolivia chronicling the lives of the remaining LAB crew - one of the world’s oldest surviving airlines.

Nick's ongoing 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. Since it’s privatisation in 1994 LAB has suffered at the hands of successive administrations, becoming gradually dismantled due to chronic mismanagement and corruption. Currently under threat of closure and with it’s downed fleet of aircraft slowly crumbling away this airline continues to survive through the loyalty and faith of its remaining 180 unpaid staff.

The images show the surreal days of the men and women left behind, maintaining a sense of activity and continuation in a place that seems to have stopped in time. Soft lighting adds an otherworldly air to the images, including to that of the Ezekiel 36:36 aircraft, one of the only two remaining at Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano.

“The story of LAB is in many ways the story of the Bolivian people, caught between past glory and grandeur, and a promised future that never seems to arrive. It is the story of an airline waiting for a miracle”, Ballon says.

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