The 'Chilean wheat bowl': An historical political ecology of the construction of a landscape of power in Wallmapu (Araucania)

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Escalona Ulloa, Miguel
Barton, Jonathan R.
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REVISTA DE GEOGRAFIA NORTE GRANDE,Vol.,81-102,2020
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Abstract
The landscape of power of the 'Chilean wheat bowl' that emerged during the nineteenth century was presented as a symbol of progress for Wallmapu (Araucania). The Chilean state, supported by agrarian, political and intellectual elites enabled the extraction of natural resources which led to the construction of a new 'Chilean wheat bowl' landscape of power, installed on the old Mapuche frontier. This article deconstructs and interprets historical sources within a framework based on historical political ecology and landscapes of power. It traces the hegemonic imposition of this landscape via devices that ensured coercion or enabled consent, with a view to imposing a particular landscape in this territory. The conclusions point to the importance of historical context for explaining contemporary socio-ecological configurations of landcapes, since this context reveals the influence of power relations and political, economic and cultural factors in the social construction of territories, and the elimination of other landscapes.
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