Júlia Pontés is a Brazilian-Argentinian investigative artist, photographer, researcher, and activist.
Pontés' work focuses mainly on extractivism and mining explorations in Brazil. It entails a deep community engagement, where she develops strong ties, academic and investigative research, and documentary practices. She is currently a member of a group of Brazilian researchers studying mining impacts in her home country.
Julia uses performance, video, photography, and other media such as installation and sculpture in her practice. Pontés explores digital and analog media, especially challenging and often pushing the medium's physical limitations; some of her aerial images are produced with an adapted large format film camera.
Her mining visual survey, done mostly in her home state of Minas Gerais with the collaboration of a pilot, has been recognized by Harvard University's Planetary Health Alliance, Visura, and NYFA, where she has been a mentee twice. It has been published by Bloomberg Businessweek, Geo Magazine, Musée Magazine, and Zone Zero and, in Brazil, by Globo's G1 portal, Plurale, O Tempo, Estado de Minas, Folha, and Midia Ninja. In 2020 she was awarded a National Geographic Emergency Fund to document the effects of the pandemic in mining communities.
Her work is frequently displayed in collaboration with social movements, universities, and independent exhibition spaces to raise awareness of mining's impact in Brazil. It has been shown individually and collectively in the United States, Argentina, Spain, Portugal, Germany, and Brazil. It is currently on display in the Wallach gallery in New York.
Júlia holds a specialization in Law and Economics from the Universidad Torcuato di Tella in Argentina; her research focuses on the economic analysis of Brazilian mineral regulation. She started learning photography at Escuela Argentina de Fotografia and graduated in photography at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in 2015. In 2022 Julia received her MFA in Visual Arts | Photography from Columbia University.