Patagonia. Coordenadas: 35ºS/55ºS – 73ºO/62ºO
Ph. Patricio Crespo
… I wonder / if looking at the stars so much / is what has made you so quiet / what do you see when you don't seem to look / when your eyes fall over the edges / of any given night
(Fragment; Susana Slednew)
Delimited the Latitudes theme and the notes that make up the first number of Patagonia CulturaS, it only remains to situate ourselves and think about the editorial. Since this is the task that we have set ourselves: to address the diverse cultures of Patagonia that we inhabit. Defining the territorial question is not a minor issue: to what extent does our interference in the enhancement of the culture and identity of Patagonia; in promoting their community expressions, assets and cultural artists?
The issue seems to have a simple resolution: "To understand the organization of geographic space, a starting point is geographic location and representation through maps" - warns the National Program of Geography Olympics (2014), of the University Nacional del Litoral (UNL, Argentina). If we take into account that the territory, as a support space, can be represented cartographically between coordinates, then consulting these sources - hopefully - would lead to a satisfactory resolution.
However, as a paradox, it is the point raised by the first stumbling block. The research leads to various publications, which seem to be unknown to each other, affirming notably contradictory information.
An article in the Geographic Magazine (1953) refers to the work of Dr. Feruglio ("Geological description of Patagonia"), to note that it was striking that the study of limits "has been very briefly ... and covers the south of the province of Mendoza, the west of the province Eva Perón (La Pampa), the territory of Neuquén and the north of the territory of Río Negro… ”, which were not yet provinces. He explains that the difficulty of the study lay in the fact that Feruglio "had not had the opportunity on his numerous trips to carry out a detailed geological survey of that area." And he advises that "since the boreal limit of Patagonia can only be approximate and conventional, the best thing to do is stick to the one marked by the Limay and Negro rivers." He cites an arch that constitutes a "crystalline shield" (central area of the Río Negro territory) between the 40º and 42º South parallels "or if you prefer," he added, "the limit can be taken to the Neuquén river." As if between the two parallels there was no distance of more than two hundred kilometers in length and a considerable area even greater.
But territory and territoriality are not the same. If the first expresses the continent plane (the soil and its geological and climatic characteristics) that it supports, the second speaks of a social construction of its inhabitants traversed and interacting in said plane in a dynamic way.
Other border definitions on which it is preferred not to go into depth, because they escape the analysis of this Editorial, they cite the northern limit of the Argentine Patagonia randomly between the 35º and 38º parallels, changing the cartographic appearance in a notable way: in the first case the center and south of the province of Mendoza, the south of San Luis, entirely the province of La Pampa, and a good part of the province of Buenos Aires, would also form part of Patagonia. In the second, it is excluded from the region, center and north of the Neuquén province, Patagonian by definition.
This cartographic mismatch is even more unusual in the delimitation that Chile makes, taking the Patagonia region only up to the 42ºS parallel, in the Reloncaví Sound, leaving, for example, the north of the Xª Region, and Puerto Montt, among the most prominent places. Or even further south, in the province of Palena, leaving Chiloé out.
None of these brave tribulations seems to affect those who inhabit Patagonia, neither on one side nor the other of the Andes Mountains. In fact, a good part of the Pampas population (in the province of La Pampa), claims their place as part of the Patagonian identity.
"What to understand by identity in the south? What subjects are part of this identity project? On what tensions did they establish their bases? ” –Mgs asks. Gabriela Álvarez Gamboa, from the University of Talca, Chile, in an article for the Universum Magazine.
Exploring this plane of territoriality, where space is built as a vital element of communities and society, it will be best to ask interested people why they are part or not, according to these fuzzy boundaries of Patagonia. As a matter of space / time, this kind of virtual conversation will be done in a clipping taking the problem on its East side: there are Pampas and Pampas who identify themselves as part of Patagonia and also claim their place in it.
- “We share the strangeness of why La Pampa is incorporated into the Patagonian Region” –starts Liliana Touceda, Bachelor of Museology from the University of the Argentine Social Museum. He relates that for the year 2000 there was an agreement between the governors of Río Negro and La Pampa for it to be institutionally incorporated into Patagonia and thus enjoy some benefits due to unfavorable area and access to supplies, for example. This agreement was especially held in the cultural field. "In creative discussions, seeking to define our identity, we don't feel that way." It details the zoning itself within the province and how these are affected –and are affected- by climatic conditions, productive capacity, and economic and social life, where each one is more related to the neighboring cities –and life- of the provinces. that surround her. "In synthesis," he closes, "the people of the Pampas do not feel Patagonian; Patagonia is further south. For us, Río Negro is the fertile and green valley. We perceive Patagonia from Chubut ”.
"Years ago, we discussed it," recalls Sergio De Matteo, poet, President of the Pampean Writers Association. But some time ago the question that La Pampa is not Patagonia reappeared. ” De Matteo met Ricardo Costa, a leading poet of Neuquén literature; Listening to her changed her focus and she devoted herself to research on writers from the south. The first determining factor that he found was himself: “my eccentricity; a Pampas in Patagonia ”. They then began a re-discussion on the question of limits, the inclusion or not of La Pampa, beyond the agreements between governments for the issues detailed by Ms. Touceda.
De Matteo Reflect on the place from where you speak when these issues are settled. What bibliography is referential, what is sustained from it. "Especially when it comes to exclusions," she says. “Both Patagonia and Pampa belong to the western library, as is: they did not exist; they are imposed terminologies. There was pre-existence of native peoples. And the circulation that existed among our native peoples: included. Within all its limits of mobilization, trade, and cultural exchange, the territorial expansion of that Patagonia was much more solid than that which some want to determine by plundering the province of La Pampa ”.
The ancient cartography that accounts for the presence of those indigenous peoples with their territories, from the western perspective of the Nation State, reveals that the province of La Pampa itself extended to what is today the north of Río Negro and was included in it. , a part of Mendoza, reached the mountain range and took the south of San Luis. The construction of geographic space is dynamic, also in its institutional approach.
Returning to Álvarez Gamboa's questions, it can be indicated that pre-existing questions are pointed out, both regarding the presence of indigenous peoples, preceding the Spanish conquest, designating new names and a new language for the appropriation of land and resources, and subsequently, with the same but, that of the states on both sides of the mountain range; the tensions are explicit. What happens then with those who are subjects in the identity project of the South-Patagonia?
Alicia Santillán, a Cordovan poet, who has been based in Santa Rosa (capital of La Pampa) for thirty years, expresses with the saying of everyday life: “After all these years of life in this province, I can say that the pampeansxs, we participate in the cosmovisión of the patagónica region because it unites to us to the rest of the provinces a common past. A deep wound that was opened to blood, destruction of bodies and cultures, through the so-called "desert conquest". The first genocide of our country: the original peoples. Conquest of the so-called desert. It was occupied by the owners of a territory. Peoples, languages, cultures ...
The pampeano participates in this regional fight to recognize, reconstruct, revalue the territory of the region and the province: the first settlements, the songs, the cosmogonic perspective, history, art, the way of naming places.
I reaffirm the idea of regional struggle because although for the people of the Pampas the construction and reaffirmation of the "Pampean identity" is essential, it does not imply an isolated identity, but it has roots in a past that unites us with the other provinces of Patagonia. Past that has been denied, overwhelmed by official history. "
Susana Slednew, a poet, who was born in Coronel Suárez, province of Buenos Aires and lives in Eduardo Castex, province of La Pampa, on what is Patagonian in her affirms: “What makes me feel or defines Patagonia could be named as tension. It is a tension that occurs as a paradox, that I can express as an experience and that I think is part of the Patagonian essence.
The almost constant tension between moving and quieting.
Wanting to move to create work, health, art, the constitution and development of the family, the nuance of everyday life; and, wanting to calm down, wanting to stay in his solitude, wanting to feel us in his distance.
The poets who come from one way or another to inhabit this territory seem to come to learn to walk to stop, to listen to the wind to recognize calm, to discover loneliness to recognize ourselves in the world, to feel the distance as if it were a want.
That tension, also as a rhythm, appears in my poetic voice, in what is written from this region.
From that tension, I claim Patagonia. "
Cartographically, then, Patagonia CulturaS takes the 35ºS parallel as the northern limit of the region, which contains in its entirety the province of Neuquén, southern Mendoza, almost all of the province of La Pampa, and the south –if its inhabitants so choose. They will want the province of Buenos Aires, on its eastern side of the Andes Mountains. On the west side, the same parallel will include the south of the VIIth Region, including Talca and its area of influence to the continental south.
Or those whose eyes fall over the edges, from looking at the stars so much.
Ph. Patricio Crespo*
*Ph. Patricio Crespo - Imágenes tomadas de "Serie Estrellas" - Villa La Angostura (2020)
Patricio Crespo, nació en enero de 1994 en Villa Regina, Río Negro, reside desde su niñez en Villa La Angostura, Neuquén.
Estudió Fotografía en B&N en la Escuela de Diego Ortíz Mugica y se recibió como Técnico en Fotografía Profesional en el Instituto Sudamericano para la Enseñanza de la Comunicación (ISEC), con especialización en Fotografía de Autor, Documental, Publicitaria, de Modas, Editorial, Fotoperiodismo y Dirección de Fotografía.
Trabajos suyos fueron publicados en el Buenos Aires Restaurant Map (2014), Anuario Escuela Diego Ortiz Mugica (2014); participó de la muestra de arte juvenil Festilagos Villa La Angostura (2015 - 2018). Realizó tapa, contratapa e imágenes interiores del libro Taller de Tango (Ediciones De La Grieta, 2019).
Sus trabajos pueden apreciarse en: