A geography of the imaginary in Chilean Patagonia

Universidad Austral de Chile

Gabriel Andrés Inostroza Villanueva

Documental: Chelenko, una geografía del imaginario


The study seeks to show a geographical evolution from the period of the last glacial maximum to the melting of the northern Patagonian ice fields and the progressive advance of water and man towards the Pacific Ocean from the Great Lake Chelenko (present-day Lake Carrera / Buenos Aires). The territory is studied from a global viewpoint based on geology and physical geography and towards a social, cultural, historical and anthropological geography. It is shown how the current “geography of the imaginary” (Debarbieux, 2005) of Aysén is historically constructed. A “social production of space” (Lefebvre, 1974, Di Méo, 2005) arises from geological and geomorphological realities as well as social through the creation of social and affective links. The “lived space” (Fremont 1974) is the result of a historical and social process that was born in the sector of Lake General Carrera with the last great deglaciation and the circulation of water from the glaciers to the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, but materializes in the collective imagination with geographic exploration, human settlement and tourism development.