Embodied Politics of Development at the Chiloé Archipelago in Southern Chile

Authors: Jacob Miller*, Northumbria University
Topics: Cultural Geography, Urban Geography, Latin America
Keywords: affect, emotion, landscape, shopping mall, Chile
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Roosevelt 5, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This presentation builds on ethnographic research around a controversial shopping mall development at the Chiloé archipelago in southern Chile. Known for its unique heritage landscape and cultural identity, Chiloé has also been transforming in recent years as result of industrial aquaculture that has flourished since the military dictatorship that forced neoliberal restructuring across the territory. One result has been the decline of rural and agrarian livelihoods at Chiloé and the growth of new urban spaces of consumption. The construction of the mall in Castro drew attention because of its out of proportion size, its unusual development trajectory and for its location near a UNSECO World Heritage site, the San Francisco church. However, there was also significant grassroots support for the mall, thereby making it an ideal place to explore the changing emotional and affective politics of urban development and the role of retail capital in post-dictatorship Chile. This presentation builds on ethnographic work from 2015 when the mall first opened, and continues to analyze the changing spaces of identity, place, tourism, heritage and development that are at the heart of the controversy.

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