Spectacle of Nature 2.0: The (Re)Production of Patagonia National Park

Elena Louder, Keith Bosak

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    In this article, we bring together understandings of the spectacle of nature and spectacle 2.0 to show how people are invited to participate in the spectacular production of nature. Recent work has expanded on the Debordian notion of spectacle, interrogating the ways people do not just consume images, but help to produce and enact spectacle: spectacle 2.0. Building on this, we argue that in conservation, consumers increasingly interact with the spectacle through digital and real-life means, thereby reinforcing and reproducing the nature that is being transformed. We term this process the spectacle of nature 2.0. We present the case of Valle Chacabuco in southern Chile, which has been transformed into Patagonia National Park. This process has been welcomed by the international conservation community, but has incited tension and conflict with local residents who have their own very different sense of Valle Chacabuco. Through the production of spectacle, park discourses highlight the heroic role of Northern conservationists, obscuring the underlying capitalist logics of the project and the social tensions it has created. We argue that it was possible to unmake/remake Valle Chacabuco from once a place of livelihoods, ranching, and production to a place of unspoiled nature through the recruitment of digital and material interaction. In the process, environmental politics and activism are channeled back into the dominant underlying capitalist ideology. Patagonia National Park is now a place that the park promoters claim belongs to the world, its nature and culture to be consumed and reproduced by environmentalists and tourists.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)331-345
    Number of pages15
    JournalAnnals of the American Association of Geographers
    Volume113
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2023

    Keywords

    • Patagonia
    • conservation
    • neoliberalism
    • spectacle 2.0
    • spectacle of nature

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