Magellan Rounding the Cape

Taller de Amereida, 21 August 2013, Ciudad Abierta, Ritoque

Taller de Amereida, 21 August 2013, Ciudad Abierta, Ritoque

A perk of my dissertation research is attending the weekly Taller de Amereida at the Open City. During these 60-minute lectures professors read passages from texts that are meaningful to them and one book has been frequently cited: Stefan Zweig’s Magellan (1938). Perhaps it was Carlos Covarrubias’s inspiring form of reading or plea for the undergraduate students to read it over the recent holiday break (even this late in the game, I can’t resist homework), I was determined to get my hands on an English translation.

Zweig, Magellan, cover

Stefan Zweig, Magellan, 1938

Continue reading

Travesías in Patagonia

From north to south: Huinay (1988, 1991, 1993-1997); Raúl Marín Balmaceda (1990); Isla Churrecue, Santa María del Mar (1987, 1989); Cabo Froward (1984/1985); Ushuaia (1991); Cabo de Hornos (1992)

From north to south: Huinay (1988, 1991, 1993-1997); Raúl Marín Balmaceda (1990); Isla Churrecue, Santa María del Mar (1987, 1989); Cabo Froward (1984/1985); Ushuaia (1991); Cabo de Hornos (1992)

One way to put Santiago’s winter chill in perspective is to spend a day researching travesías in Patagonia. To summarize a complicated project, travesías are annual journeys into remote parts of South America undertaken by faculty and students from the School of Valparaíso (an experimental architecture and design school); during these two-week long stints the teams recite and draft poetry, meet with locals, install a “work,” camp, and leave. For my dissertation I am researching travesías from 1984 to 1992 and today I went to Patagonia with the help of Boris Ivelic’s seminal Embarcación Amereida y la Épica de fundar el Mar Patagónico (Valparaíso: Ediciones Universitarias de Valparaíso, 2005). Continue reading

Things People Do Out West, Part Two

The first time I saw the Vatican I had a fan-girl moment: this was a place I’d seen my whole life on television and photographs. It was so familiar yet famous, it felt surreal to walk through that space. I had a similar experience when I was living in Nevada, mostly during my drives past the Bonneville Salt Flats just over the border in Utah. Here was the stunning landscape that appeared in one of my favorite movies, Wind (1992). Continue reading