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Historias de los Bosques que alguna vez fueron pastizales: la producción de la naturaleza en la frontera argentino-paraguaya

Author(s): Gastón R. Gordillo

Journal: Población & Sociedad
ISSN 1852-8562

Volume: 17;
Start page: 59;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: production of nature | Argentinean Chaco | border

In this article, I combine recent approaches to the making of places with an older theoretical tradition concerned with the social production of nature. In particular, I examine how seemingly “natural” landscapes are made and unmade by social practice and by the spatial cleavages created by an international border. My analysis focuses on the legacy of the landscape transformations that affected the western Argentinean Chaco on the Pilcomayo River in the early twentieth century, when the expansion of cattle raising on an indigenous frontier caused the disappearance of grasslands and the expansion of forests of hardwoods, cacti, and shrubs. In particular, I analyze how, among the Toba living in this region, their social memory, expectations, and historical experience of the local landscapes are intertwined with the territorial divide created by the nearby border between Argentina and Paraguay, which has created very different landscapes on each side of the border. Overall, this paper analyzes how the making of places is entangled with the socio-historical production of nature and with the culturally and spatially productive territoriality of borderlines.

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