1. The Shapes of Territories: Writing the National Borders
In An Expedition to the Ranquel Indians, Lucio V. Mansilla recounts with fascination the experience of living in the Southern Argentinean frontier in the 1870s, while commissioned to complete a topographical description of the region and the study and customs and traditions of its inhabitants. His labors paved the way for civilizing missions to come, with a precise geographical characterization that ultimately prepared the Argentinean government for the military expedition that, a decade later, would complete the extermination of the indigenous population of Argentina under the tenet of “Gobernar es poblar,” as declared by Argentina’s third president Domingo Faustino Sarmiento. The creation of the modern state required a demographic cleansing of massive proportions that eventually would favor the colonization of the south by the hundreds of thousands of European immigrants arriving at the Port of Buenos Aires. In 1879, the territorial landscape that Mansilla had documented a decade earlier was completed with the creation of the government of Patagonia. Mansilla’s book clearly draws a nation in the making: “I have completed the draft of a topographic sketch of this vast and deserted territory that invites labor, and I shall publish it very soon, along with a memory that will be offered to the rural industry” (14). Along with a detailed description of what constitutes the last frontier of Argentina, Mansilla composed a model for government based on the dramatic transformation of an infertile landscape converted into agricultural land. In fact, concerned with the creation of a modern nation state, Mansilla’s work reflects much of Argentinean literature between 1870-1910.
In particular, the region of Patagonia offered a peculiar set of challenges to the literary and political elites of the country. Since its earliest representations in the global imagination, Patagonia has been depicted as the outer limit of a global order and, as Gabriela Nouzeilles reminds us, this perception of Patagonia as a deserted land challenged the “spatial production of the State as a territorial entity” (36). The idea of a national state associated with a bounded territory, a key concept in state formations of the nineteenth century and a notion that is dissolving as we begin the twenty first century, was linked to a series of literary and scientific representations that shaped the debate of the cultural elite in Argentina at that time. The nation-state sought to “re-invent” Patagonia with two central images: as an untapped resource yet to be fully exploited--the promised land described by Mansilla, and as an unbridled terrain well suited to the embodiment of an incipient nationalism (Nouzeilles 37). A vast work of scientific and literary works witness the different historic moments of appropriation and renegotiation of this complex body of representations, such as those of Estanislao Zeballos or Francisco Moreno. Beginning in the 1930s, the opening of Patagonia to national and international tourism transformed its landscape into an object of mass consumption (Nouzeilles, 43).
During the twentieth century both images of Patagonia remained as powerful representations in the national consciousness. In Ending of a Novel in Patagonia (Final de Novela en Patagonia, 2000), Mempo Giardinelli depicts Patagonia as a place that shapes the novelistic imagination, thus providing at the beginning of the twenty-first century Patagonia remains the ultimate challenge to geographic and literary cartographies. In truth, textual Patagonia has historically been an inspiration to many: Darwin’s references in The Voyage of the Beagle; Heman Melville’s images of Cape Horn in works such as “Benito Cereno;” Bruce Chatwin’s In Patagonia (1975); Roberto Arlt’s journal chronicles of the 1930s published in El mundo; and films such as The Journey (El viaje, by Pino Solanas, 1990) or Crane World (Mundo grúa by Pablo Trapero, 1999). And as Giardinelli’s novel reminds us, in Patagonia local and global imaginations of place have shaped a number of literary or artistic themes hat are congruent, in many cases, with political or economic projects about the area.
A rhetorical narrative impulse gave form to the creation of Patagonia as an imaginary geography. The textual myth of Patagonia takes the form of a collage that accumulates or juxtaposes local and global discourses, a “bricolage,” in Livron-Grosman’s words (11). As a myth, as a national and global frontier, as a “land of the future,” or as a natural refuge in the light of global collapse, Patagonia has formed a number of discourses about the intersections of writing and geographic space. In this paper I will examine the works of contemporary Argentinean writer and artist, Belén Gache. Gache destabilizes some of the geographic imaginaries that, since the nineteenth century presented Patagonia as a site for the enterprise of nationalism and a catalyst to the artistic imagination. Even when her works do not possess feminist claims, they shed light on several crucial debates on how women’s literary and artistic productions participate in transnational dialogues. Gache’s notion of nomadic writing examines, for instance, the position of minority discourses in global designs and the intricate connections between writing and territory. Moreover, by mixing literary writing and other media, she explores the format of hypertexts that place into question hierarchical notions about literature, such as the role of cultural producers in the creative process. I consider her works relevant to the discussion on transnational feminisms, since they enrich the conversation about how minorities can build transnational bonds. Thus her propositions on nomadic writing are examples of what Walter Mignolo calls “border thinking,” a set of critical discourses by which minorities seek to de-center political and epistemological global designs.
2. Under the Moonlight Madness: Nomadic Writings in Neoliberal Patagonia
Argentinean writer Sylvia Iparraguirre states in an interview that Patagonia entered the global imagination in 1520 when Magallanes first saw the coasts and inhabitants of the now Strait of Magellan. In her beautiful compilation of essays entitled Tierra del Fuego. A Biography of the Ends of the World, Iparraguirre writes about the cruel history of the island and its inhabitants: the killing of the “owners of the fire,” the Selk’nams and the Yamanas; the “legendary” expeditions by Francis Drake or James Cook; and the later arrival of missionaries and gold diggers such as Julius Popper, who found gold dust in the area and secured his power with a private army. The first European accounts of the area shaped a mythical Patagonia that included a description of marvelous beings such as sirens or giants (The Patagons), images that were popular in the European Renaissance. These early mythical stories, Iparraguirre states, “were combined with the ‘real history’ that began at the end of the nineteenth century when Patagonia was incorporated to the modern nation” (Personal Interview, June 26, 2008). This “real” history was as unreal as the early one since the laws of the rifle and a violent colonization prevailed: “This fact created stories of horror that have to do with the massive killings of indigenous people, when for instance, five pounds were paid for a pair of human ears” (Personal Interview, June 26, 2008.
During the 1990s, Patagonia resurfaced as a key component of the national imagination during the 1990s, when attempts for a regional and global integration such as Mercosur became central in the political agenda. Neoliberalism and a later nationalist surge after the 2001 economic collapse, brought national attention back to the question of national territory. In this context, between March 29th and April 29th of 2007, during the International Polar Year and with the intention to promote a global understanding between the North and South Poles, the First Biennial of the Ends of the World took place in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. For this event, artists and writers from Latin America and around the world gathered in Patagonia to propose new ways of uniting art and literature, politics and the environment. Many of the works for this exhibition are relevant to the topic of spatial reconfigurations of Patagonia, but I would like to focus here on Belén Gache’s installation entitled Diary of the Cannibal Moon. As it is evident in the title of her work, the moon is a central figure for Gache. The title of her first novel, Indian Moon, comes from the work of British sculptor Anthony Cragg, who in the 1980s became known for his object-sculptures and wall pieces made from collected plastic and other discarded items: “a first quartered moon formed by fragments of plastic objects such as toys, kitchen gadgets, lids, toothbrushes, and party favors, Cragg shows how at a certain point all of those things stop being just things, and turn into parts of his yellow moon, but now the moon is not only a moon but a moon formed by the stories of each of those fragments of disposable broken pieces of plastic, a moon that is filled with yellow memories”(170). As Cragg’s Indian Moon, Gache’s novel questions the notion of narrative progression and linearity and elaborates on the format of a collage. The novel is narrated from the perspective of Asia, an art-history student in her late twenties, from whom we learn more about the art scene of 1990s Buenos Aires. Episodes take place in the novel as we move through different scenes and casual relationships: we briefly hear about a succession of lovers, friends, and job venues. The novel opens and closes with Asia driving to the Buenos Aires international airport. Its descriptions abound in references to the bright colors in fashion during the late 1980s and early 1990s, and create a futuristic scene where Buenos Aires is presented as a hyper-modern city where disengaged human relationships are taking place. The episodic character of Indian Moon relates to the assemblage-works created by Cragg, as well as the “deterritorialized writing” described by Giles Deleuze and Felix Guattari who, in A Thousand Plateaus associate the movement of deterritorialization (linked to migration or exile) with a textual and epistemological format that takes the shape of a rhizome. Deleuze and Guattari propose that in any book we can find lines of articulation that they call “territories” as well as movements of deterritorialization or flight that can be compared to the structure of an assemblage (4). The notion of deterritorialization is relevant here, since “radicle-systems” such as the rhizome follow similar patters of composition as those of the collage. As in Cragg’s works or Belén Gache’s Indian Moon, the principle of deterritorialization implies a textual composition that reflects a non- or antilinear thought expressed by the notions of link, network, web, or path by post-structuralist writers such a Derrida.
In her second novel, Electric Moons for Moonless Nights, Gache develops the futurist imagery of Buenos Aires even further by setting her narrative in the 1910s scene of technological inventions and artistic Avant-gardes. We are invited to witness the transformations of Buenos Aires from a small town to a major city through a series of modernization changes that include an urban planning based on European designs and the dramatic demographic transformation that takes place thanks to the arrival of immigrants. The protagonist, an orphan named Ángela, who lives in the area known as “El bajo”—the “lower side” of the city close to the La Plata river banks—contemplates from her attic windows, the Buenos Aires port’s intense traffic. The moon here is directly linked to the young narrator’s curiosity for scientific discoveries and completes the futuristic picture of the city: “My friend Mirko says that in a few years, now where the port is located, they will build fast trains that will fly and that, propelled by an ‘electroneumatic’ system will cross the ocean and arrive in Europa and Africa … (In Buenos Aires) there will be electric moons that will be turned on at night, when there is a moonless night” (10). In addition, references to the moon, Halley’s comet and other astronomical phenomena are directly linked to the apocalyptic fears of the period, to which the protagonist refers in her journal entitled “The Book of the Ends of the World.”
The moon is also a central reference in Diary of the Cannibal Moon. This installation is based on the fictional diary of an inmate of the penitentiary of Tierra del Fuego. The prison, that was operative between 1904 and 1947, housed the most dangerous criminals of Argentina along with political oppositors and some anarchists, such as Simon Radowitzky. This prison was built according to the panoptic model of Jeremy Bentham, which Michel Foucault used as a key example in Punish and Control. Currently a museum, this prison was the site of several installations during the 2007 Biennial, all of which intended to present “subjective experiences of time and space” (www.finaldelmundo.org-BienalFindelMundo, September 12, 2008). The central thematic lines of the Biennial reinforce the imagery of Patagonia as the “ends of the world,” or a last refuge from where to think about the global realities of this turn of the century: communication of South and North poles; ecological urgencies; Antartica—learning from a new experience; liminal experiences—around the idea of alternative worlds; and urban and natural topologies (www.finaldelmundo.org-BienalFindelMundo, September 12, 2008).
In the video of Gache’s installation, the colossal beauty of Tierra del Fuego, its open bays and its coasts, the clean presence of its blue skies, contrast with the dark and oppressive interior of the penitentiary. The main supports for this installation are walls, corridors, and windows. Transformed artistically by the ways in which the video is shot, the architectural features of the prison depict spatial distortions that reflect the protagonist’s isolation. Shot from the inside of prison cells, the scenes place us in his position and let us contemplate a sky and a promise of freedom that will never be reached. The exterior and interior views are dissected by complex structures of grids and other geometric forms such as doors, windows and columns. As one of the curators for the Biennial, Ibis Hernandez reminds us, installations such as Gache’s that took place in the prison, “send us to experience the psychological time where the present only exists as a memory of the past or as a transit towards a future freedom. Some works staged there refer not so much to physical confinement, but to the temporal experience of being entrapped by invisible walls such as [the ones represented by] the obsession with fashion, the consumerist attitude, the hounding of the media, the restrictions imposed by false beliefs…” www.finaldelmundo.org-BienalFindelMundo, September 12, 2008). In Diary of the Cannibal Moon, Gache explores such notions of temporal and physical confinement, by depicting the prison’s interior space as Patagonia’s dark side. The fantastic transformation the inmate suffers, his progressive delusion and withdrawal from reality, tells us a compelling narrative of the ways in which Patagonia as the last frontier has been a violent site of repression. In Gache’s previous works, the moon was an icon of futurist imagery (Electric Moons for Moonless nights) or a reference of textual and visual compositions that follow a collage-like structure (Indian Moon). Here the moon is a narrative agent and a cultural reference that points to the cruelty that takes place in the prison. According the Selkn’am myth, during an eclipse the cannibal moon will turn red “with the blood of men who will be doomed in a coming battle” (www.findelmundo.com.ar/lunacanibal, September 12th, 2008). The reference to cannibalism gains new meanings as we see the protagonist first loose sense of his spatial and cultural location, and eventually being “erased” in the story.
The text for the installation, organized around 21 journal entries that correspond to different moon cycles, reflect the progressive deterioration of the protagonist, a Spanish immigrant about whom we know little other than he had participated in World War I (figure 1). The visual scenery predominant in the journal, constant references to the color white, replicated by symbols such as the moon as a mirror, create the effect of dissolution of space and time. At the end, his precarious writing is interrupted by intense migraines and the demonic presence of the moon: “At night, when everybody else is asleep, I write on the walls of my cell in the dark. I write truths and I denounce injustices; I accuse traitors and reveal secrets. In the morning, when I try to read my texts, I find the wall covered with senseless scratching.” The fragility of the prisoner’s writing as described here invites several reflections. Gache employs the journal as the source of explanation of the progressive delusion the inmate experiences, a tool traditionally used in narrations of the fantastic. Located at the “ends of the world,” this fantastic drive can be interpreted as a consequence of the cultural contrasts and perceptions the protagonist experiences. The maddening effects of the moon are therefore consequences of the life on the border and Diary of the Cannibal Moon establishes a dialogue with previous narrative accounts that have shaped the imagery of Tierra del Fuego as a site of delusion or the unrealGache employs the prison as a complex architectural structure to explore how distorted experiences of time and space represent the disruption of cultural and epistemological codes. Deterritorialization here is the manifestation of the lack of representational powers of writing: an outcast, a convict, and a foreigner--this writer without a territory can only produce “senseless scratching.” Gache establishes a dialogue with the Patagonian imagery of travel journals or navigation diaries that proposed writing in the borders of empires or national frontiers as transitional passages of self-definition. Furthermore, in the Argentina of the 2000s, the notion of deterritorialized writing exposes, as will be explained in the following section, how media and hypertexts are reshaping notions within the literary culture.
3. Hypertext and Transnational Fantasies
In her compilation of essays entitled Nomadic Writings, Belen Gache defines the impact of electronic supports in writing. Referring specifically to hypertexts, Gache emphasizes how the notion of a linear writing has been challenged by formats that encourage different levels of interaction between reader and text. The notion of the hypertext is relevant here, a format that many believe is a direct consequence of the technological inventions of the 20th century. Theodor Nelson coined the term that refers to non-sequential writing and the fusing of different semiotic systems that include words, images and sounds. As in his project Xanadu, the hypertext includes a branching of texts and innovative organizations of materials which allows the reader to go through interactive screens, as in some of the examples posted on Gache’s website. Hypertexts have been linked to critical theories on reading and writing such as the de-centering proposed by deconstructionism or Deleuze and Guattari’s rhizomes. According to George Landow, “all hypertex systems permit the individual reader to choose his or her own center of investigation and experience […] [which means] that reader is not locked into any kind of particular organization or hierarchy” (58). In the history of hypertexts in Nomadic Writing, Gache establishes its antecedents in the phonic games of futuristic poetry, concrete poetry examples such as the “poesia letrista” by Isou in the 1940s, or the cultivation of the “nonsense” of English writers such as Lewis Carroll in the 19th century. Her analysis focuses on how those aesthetic trends sought to deconstruct logical supports of linguistic expression. An important section of Nomadic Writings is devoted to the analysis of space as a key component in non-linear forms of writing: “[…] opposed to the linear traditional literary model, we can track a nomadic model that deconstructs the notion of single plot, and allows for perspectives of multiple readings. The different possible paths (of interpretation), the junctions, the enclosures, and the textual labyrinths of this model appear as the metaphor of the possible ways of walking through a city that are associated with the (informal) stroll and the wandering” (77). Such nomadic models became more systematic beginning in 1897 with Mallarmé’s Coup de dés, and the historic avant-gardes of the early 20th century fully place them in the center of the literary scene. Different spatial structures support the characteristics of interactivity, randomness, synchronization, and spatiality that are central to nomadic texts. In addition, Gache analyzes different genres and textual examples where spatial nomadic representations are central: maps used in fictional accounts, travel narratives, encyclopedias, or collages, are all examples of a nomadic format employed in literature or art.
Gache’s interest in the intersection between literary writing and other media, in particular, the internet, is evident in multiple examples of her work as the Diary of the Cannibal Moon analyzed in the previous section. She is the co-director of the website Fin del mundo (www.findelmundo.com.ar) and besides her fiction and essays, she has explored the writing of digital and video poetry. She also maintains a number of blogs about the topic in her website (www.findelmundo.com.ar/belengache). Gache’s juxtaposition of digital media and writing is evident in Word Toys, an interactive book that can only be read on the internet (figure 2). In the chapter “Mariposas-libro” Gache creates a digital book collection composed by “dissected words” or quotations from multiple sources that are attached to an “insectario.” The reader has to click on each butterfly in order to access the literary quotations. As in Cortazar’s Hopscotch, the reader has to build a network of virtual connections in the text, this time aided by visual supports provided by the internet. In Word Toys, Gache explores the notion of reading as an unpredictable discontinuous operation led by the reader, which Deleuze and Guattari proposed in A Thousand Plateaus. In “Mariposas-libro” Gache defines linear writing as an “insectario” that freezes interpretation: “Writing stops, crystallizes, and in a way it kills writing in order to keep its corpse. An ethereal corpse such as a butterfly’s that has been dissected” (www.findelmundo.com.ar-wordtoys, September 12th, 2008). “Mariposas-libro” invites the reader to browse through her “infinite collection” of quotes, therefore enacting the principle of reader’s participation. The format of Word-Toys resembles that of a book that can be read by clicking on different screens and moving through chapters, in an order that is decided by each individual path of reading. In some instances, as in “Water Poems,” we are invited to interact with areas of the screen that prompt a textual reference, in this case, poems drip in the bathroom sink as we click on the faucet. In The Book of the Ends of the World, Gache further explores the writing of hypertexts by working with different formats: a text that can be downloaded as a PDF and that includes direct link to a CD, and a direct link to an interactive website where many visual texts can be accessed.
Gache’s nomadic aesthetic has evident connections with the tradition of the historic Avant-gardes of the early 20th century. However, I would like to focus on her discussion of how hypertexts reorganize the creative space of the page since I believe nomadism and hypertext are linked to the cultural de-centering proposed in Gache’s works. As in her installation, Diary of the Cannibal Moon, her multimedia works deconstruct spatial organizations by working with the idea of simultaneity, by changing spatial perspectives, or by exploring what Deleuze and Guattari have described as “rhizome-like structures. As Deleuze and Guattari had argued, rhizome-like structures involve the notion of nomadic thought, which rejects “the word and the world fully mapped as logos” (Michael Joyce, 207 quoted in Landow, 61). In fact, Gache is also affiliated with a group of artists known as “Rhizome,” whose works primarily take place online but who are also associates of the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City (http://rhizome.org). The spatial structure of the rhizome is central in hypertexts where “there is no linear configuration, nor an ending or a beginning, but contingent paths of reading… different screens can be traveled through, from one point of the text to another, or to other texts, in an infinite displacement” (Nomadic Writings, 78). As the nomad, the reader of hypertexts is invited to explore surfaces and spatial configurations that challenge notions of fixed spatialities and systems of thought linked to them.
Gache does not directly explore the political implications of such nomadic de-centering since her productions are focused on the aesthetic effects of hypertexts. However, in Diary of the Cannibal Moon, we can read the political implications of her work. By locating her installation in the institution in charge of punishing and controlling those outlaws and outcasts by the Argentinean government, Gache is making a political gesture and is inviting the reader ⁄ spectator to reflect on the connection between spatiality and power. As analyzed in the previous section, her installation accomplishes a physical de-centering that has to do with the shots of the video as well as the fantastic effects of the journal the inmate writes. Patagonia as a text where the need to bound a territorial project is made evident is challenged here from the perspective of an outcast. The myths of Patagonia as the “Promised Land,” or an ideal touristic destination take on a completely different shape in Diary of the Cannibal Moon. Gache explores how the borders of the territorial project of Patagonia are sites for its own dissolution, places where cultural others or political or social outcasts can contest the political implications of the territorial entity known as the nation. The context of this political and aesthetic gesture by Gache is the Biennial of the Ends of the World, which also seeks to create new spatial and aesthetic alignments that are beyond the limitations of territorialism.
Even when there are no explicit feminist claims in Gache’s works, her reflections on nomadic writing and the format of hypertexts can be connected to feminist claims about transcending the negative restrictions of territoriality and literary authorship. In Latin America, Ana Forcinito has studied the political ramifications of nomadism as a feminist interpretative tool, and Rossi Braidotti claims in Nomadic Subjects that nomadism is a political and epistemological that can enable a feminist de-centering (22). Forcinito analyzes, for instance, how a nomadic memory questions, during the 1990s, the association of body and territory. Women writers in Latin America practice a “nomadic memory,” an interpretative tool that seeks to deconstruct territorial forms of patriarchy and authoritarianism (20). In the last section of this paper, I would like to further explore the feminist implications of nomadism. As Chandra Mohanty has revealed, a “feminism without borders” is a central and strategic decision in the process of configuring a transnational “feminist solidarity” with political and ethical goals that challenges the limitations of territoriality and power(3).
4. Border Thinking: Dialogical Cosmofeminisms
In the introduction to Cosmopolitanism, Sheldon Pollock analyzes how globalization has impacted the “imaginations of place” such as home, boundary, territory or roots (2). Moreover, the modernist (and nationalist) insistence on territorialized imaginations of identity has been replaced by the demands of a new wave of cosmopolitanisms that, instead of praising universal categories such as the “citizenship of the world,” are voicing the divergent needs of the diaspora, the migrants, or the exiles. These are “minoritarian cosmopolitanisms” (6) or in Walter Mignolo’s words, “critical and dialogical cosmopolitanisms” that are against the universalizing claims of previous centuries (179). Pointing to the fact that all feminisms have dealt with their own critiques to universalisms, Pollock proposes the need for “cosmofeminisms,” where dissimilar experiences of feminism can be represented. More importantly, if we understand such “cosmofeminisms” as one of the representations of the “critical or dialogical cosmopolitanisms” coined by Mignolo, we would need then “to reestablish the commonality between both cosmopolitan projects that was obscured by the convergence of industrial capitalism, cosmopolitanisms, and the civilizing mission” (174). Such “cosmofeminisms” will be then one of the critical cosmopolitanisms that, from the perspective of a common colonial domination, will be able to produce a new “border thinking” that generates an epistemological and political de-centering of what Mignolo calls “global design”(180)
I believe the term “cosmofeminism” bears important connections with the notion of “transnational feminisms.” For a “feminism without borders,” as Chandra Mohanty has defined the transnational current that challenges colonization and capitalism, is essentially an interpretative and political tool that similarly questions “the globalized economic, ideological, and cultural interweaving of masculinities, femininities, and heterosexualities in capital’s search for profit, accumulation and domination” (9). As Mohanty establishes, the notion of the border is still operative in transnational feminisms, since “a feminism without borders must envision change and social justice work across these [border] lines of demarcation and division” (2). In Feminism Without Borders, Mohanty delineates what she calls “cartographies of struggle” “of the historical and political location of Third World peoples and document the urgency of our predicament in a Eurocentric world” (43). Mohanty’s definition of transnational feminisms foregrounds the relationships among gender, race, class, and nation. Domination is then conceived as a fluid connection that transcends national borders and, within this paradigm, it is possible to engage in a “dynamic oppositional agency that clarifies the intricate connection between systematic relationships and the directionality of power” (55). Mohanty’s remarks contribute an important set of issues to the discussion of the writing outside borders in which Gache engages, whose works make evident new cartographies that rewrite patterns in the national imagination of Argentina. Her questioning of traditional supports of writing by the use of hypertexts, further develop a strategy of de-centering of the literary canon. Thus her work, Diary of the Cannibal Moon, is a reflection upon writing and territorialism, both understood as key strategies in the composition of cultural maps of struggle and domination.
A final question: is there a place for “cosmofeminisms” in the “cartographies of struggle” of the beginning of the 21st century? The critical examination conducted here of the association of territory, writing and the political “imagining of place” as evidenced by in the history of Patagonia, leads us to reflect on how strategies of destabilization of territorial models and global designs as the ones conducted by writer and artist Belen Gache are just a few examples of borderless writing. “Cosmofeminisms” such as the ones described by Pollock and Mignolo are yet to be consolidated but, as Francine Masiello studied, the area of the Southern Cone abounds in tentative examples of feminisms of such sort. We can place Gache’s deterritorialized or nomadic production within the corpus of examples that in Neoliberal Argentina and Chile have questioned how women and other minorities are placed within the syntax of the South-North exchanges (Masiello, 109). Journals such as Feminaria in Argentina or Revista de Crítica Cultural in Chile have also proposed a political and aesthetic de-centering as the root of a reflection on globalization and transnational flows (Masiello, 118). As liminal experiences of the border are being reproduced in literary and artistic productions of the Southern Cone, the task of constructing a critical and academic discourse to describe the attacks against the “territorialities of masculinism” (Gillian Rose 151) still remains to be done. However, productions by women such as Belén Gache or Sylvia Iparraguirre—whose works follow a similar territorial de-centering—are opening new doors for such critical inquiries.
Braidotti, Rosi. “Introduction: By Way of Nomadism”. Nomadic Subjects. Embodiment and Sexual Difference in Contemporary Feminist Theory. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994. 1-39
Deleuze, Giles and Guattari, Felix. “Introduction: Rhizome.” A Thousand Plateaus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Trans. And foreword by Brian Massumi. 7th edition. Minneapolis, London: University of Minnesota Press, 1998.
Forcinito, Ana. Memorias y Nomadías: géneros y cuerpos en los márgenes del posfeminismo. Chile: Editorial Cuarto Propio, 2004.
Gache, Belén. Diario de la luna caníbal. www.findelmundo.com.ar ⁄ lunacanibal ⁄ index.html
- - -. El libro del fin del mundo. http://www.findelmundo.com.ar/belengache/index.html#ficcion
- - -. Escrituras nómadas. Del libro perdido al hipertexto. Gijón, España: Ediciones Trea, 2006.
- - -. Luna india. Buenos Aires: Planeta, 1994.
- - -. Noches eléctricas para una noche sin luna. Buenos Aires: Editorial Sudamericana, 2004.
- - -. Word Toys. www.findelmundo.com.ar ⁄ wordtoys.
Landow, George P. “Hypertext and Critical Theory.” Hypertext 3.0. Critical Theory and New Media in an Era of Globalization. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006. 53-68
Livron-Grossman, “La literatura de viaje: género, naturaleza y nación”. Geografías imaginarias. El relato de viaje y la construcción del espacio patagónico. Rosario, Argentina: Beatriz Viterbo editora, 2003.
Mansilla, Lucio V. Una excursión a los indios ranqueles. Buenos Aires: Peuser, 1964.
Masiello, Francine. “Gender Traffic on the North/South Horizon.” The Art of Transition. Latin American Culture and Neoliberal Crisis. Durham, London: Duke University Press, 2001. 105-173.
Mignolo, Walter. “The Many Faces of Cosmo-polis: Border Thinking and Critical Cosmopolitanism.” Cosmopolitanism. Edited by Sheldom Pollock et al.
Mohanty, Chandra Talpade. Feminism without Borders. Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity. Durham: Duke University Press, 2003.
Nouzeilles, Gabriela. “Patagonia as Borderland: Nature, Culture, and the Idea of the State.” Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies. 8(1): 1999. 35-48
Pollock, Sheldon, et al. “Cosmopolitanisms”. Cosmopolitanism. Edited by Sheldom Pollock et al. Durham, London: Duke University Press, 2002. 1-14
Rose, Gillian. Feminism and Geography. The Limits of Geographical Knowledge. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1993.
All translations, unless otherwise noted, are mine.
In A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari propose two types of book structures. The root-book is “a classical book, as noble signifying, and subjective organic interiority, which follows a […] binary logic.” On the contrary, a rhizome corresponds to a “radicle-system, or fascicular root [in which] the principal root has aborted, or its tip has been destroyed; an immediate, indefinite multiplicity of secondary roots grafts onto it and undergoes a flourishing development” (5). Rhizomes are “fascicular systems” that follow the principles of connection and heterogeneity, multiplicity, asignifying rupture, which create multiple structures establishing connections among semiotic chains.
An additional element of the rhizome has to do with the notion of deterritorialilzation: “the rhizome is made only of lines: lines of segmentarity and stratification as its dimensions, and the line of flight or deterritorizalization… the rhizome is an antigenealogy. It is a short-term memory, or untimemory” (21).