French Chilean photographer was born in Chile in 1953. After completing his degree in ethnomusicology, he embarked on a career in photojournalism. His first professional reportage was based on the military coup dâ€™Ã©tat in Santiago, Chile in 1973, an event which was to influence not only his career but his entire future. Later that year he was forced into political exile, seeking refuge in Brazil. During this period he completed several significant projects on a series of social issues, with a special focus on the people living in the Favelas and on street children.
Since the beginning, the photographic image has always been Estayâ€™s natural medium as an author. The insight of his reportage, the strength of its content, and the richness and variety of his views characterise the personal and profound vision which fuels his career as a photojournalist.
In 1981, he moved to France where he started a new life and a prolific career in photography and publication. His photographs appeared in such publications as Le Figaro Magazine, LibÃ©ration, L’Express, Animan, Geo (Germany, France, Spain, Russia and Korea), as well as Stern and Newsweek. In 1982 he had his first exhibition in France, â€œlâ€™Amerique Latine Ã Paris", at the Grand Palais in Paris. In 1989 Estay and his close friend Cuban photographer Alberto Korda were co-exhibitors at the opening of “Visa pour lâ€™Image” in Perpignan, France, which inaugurated the First International Festival of Photojournalism. The title of their exhibition was â€œTrente Ans de RÃ©volution Cubaine". In 1990 Estay began a project which would continue for the next ten years, documenting the equestrian cultures of ten different countries. Part of this work was exhibited in 1993 at the International Festival of Photojournalism. In 1989, on assignment from a number of French magazines and newspapers, he returned to Chile for the first time in twenty years for the Chilean presidential elections. In three months he witnessed the fall of the Pinochet regime.
Estayâ€™s experience as a political exile inspired his 1997 reportage on the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan community of exiles in Dharamsala. The photos from this seven year project will be the subject of a hardcover book published in 2007. In 1997, he won the European Fuji Press Award prize in the Magazine category for his reportage “The Lord of the Bush”, shot in Australia. In 2001 Estay published a book based on the aforementioned equestrian reportage, entitled Peuples Cavaliers, published by Le ChÃªne. In 2003 he founded the agency Nazca Pictures, and started living between Paris and Florence.
Today more than ever, Estay believes in the unlimited expression of image, freedom, passion and life through the medium of photography.
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