The ruin(s) of Chiloé? An ethnography of buildings de/reterritorializing

Jacob Miller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Studying buildings can be a rich entry point into emerging cultural geographies. The archipelago of Chiloé in southern Chile is experiencing rapid change since the country’s extreme turn toward neoliberal governance in the 1970s. Once a rural, communal, and sea-faring region, it has been transformed by industrial aquaculture in recent decades which has driven a new urban landscapes and consumer-oriented lifestyles. This paper offers findings from an ethnographic study of changing consumption geographies, from iconic tourist sites linked to the region’s rich heritage geographies, to the new corporate retailers and shopping malls. Specifically, the new shopping mall clashes with the heritage and tourist landscape of colonial era churches and other unique heritage architectures that have captured the attention of tourists and investors. We glimpse a dynamic architectural geography in flux, as an array of buildings pulls the population in multiple directions at once, making it an ideal case study of the competing forces of what Deleuze and Guattari called de- and re-territorialization, an appropriate analytic for understanding the powerful forces of commodification.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-452
Number of pages18
JournalCultural Geographies
Issue number3
Early online date14 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022


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