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Research Article

Escaping the Visual Trap of the Agricultural Frontier: Fernando Solanas’s Viaje a los pueblos fumigados

Author:

Oscar A Pérez

Skidmore College, US
About Oscar
Oscar A. Pérez is an Assistant Professor at Skidmore College. His research interests have to do with the convergence of science, technology, the environment, and language in cultural productions from Latin America and Spain.
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Abstract

In this work, I describe how the film Viaje a los pueblos fumigados, directed by Fernando Solanas, help us escape what I call the ‘visual trap’ of the agricultural frontier. The agricultural frontier, sometimes called farming frontier, is often defined as the division zone between the ranching and farming lands and those that have never been cultivated before. Images of the agricultural frontier, with their symmetric forms and stark color contrasts, form a ‘visual trap’ that prevents us from grasping the numerous processes that take place in these spaces and ecosystems, as well as the effects of human activity on living and nonliving beings. I propose that Solanas’s film gives us tools to break away from such a visual trap, as it allows us to follow the invisible paths of agrochemicals and realize that they are material agents not bounded by this artificial border. I pay particular attention to how representations of sickness are used to convey the unbounded nature of agrochemicals. A key notion in this respect is that of ‘agrosickness narratives,’ representations of sick bodies that challenge us to examine how we engage with images of environmental degradation.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.26824/lalr.241
How to Cite: Pérez, O.A., 2021. Escaping the Visual Trap of the Agricultural Frontier: Fernando Solanas’s Viaje a los pueblos fumigados . Latin American Literary Review, 48(96). DOI: http://doi.org/10.26824/lalr.241
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Published on 03 Aug 2021.
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