Located in Exploradores Bay, Aysén Region, the Patagonia Interdisciplinary Research Station (EPII-UC) nestles in a landscape of Patagonian channels and forests and is a strategic site for conservation, the study of global change, and education through sustainable tourism. In 2009, a piece of land on the Aysén coast was granted in concession by the Ministry of National Assets to the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile for the purposes of research, education and conservation. The EPII-UC has been part of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, LabEx DRIIHM, and CNRS since 2015, and the Observatorie Man Environment-Internacional, INEE, and CNRS-UC since 2018.
The station’s research programme, which promotes interdisciplinarity, was launched in 2015 and focuses on the disciplines of ecology, geography, microbiology, and sociology.
Andrés Núñez, Enrique Aliste, Álvaro Bello & Mauricio Osorio (editors) (2017) Imaginarios geográficos, prácticas y discursos de frontera. Aysén-Patagonia desde el texto de la nación. Santiago, Institute of Geography, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, 330 pages.
All of the works contained in this book have something in common: they consider space as social production associated with political logics of central power. As such, they all support the central thesis of this book: Aysén has been constructed in accordance with a national geographical imaginary which time and again has interpreted the area as marginal, as underdeveloped, and as a frontier.
This presents us with a monumental task: those territories situated far from the political centre possess histories and geographies which must be recorded and understood not only in relation to that central power, but in terms of the framework of understanding within which they are interpreted and in the context of the existential historicity (experience) of life there.
This book is the result of interdisciplinary research as part of CONICYT-FONDECYT Project No. 1141169 (“Fronteras tardías, fronteras actuales: el territorio de Aysén en la construcción del imaginario geográfico de la nación. Chile, siglos XX-XXI”) and No. 1170643 (“El discurso de la naturaleza en Patagonia-Aysén: nuevos imaginarios geográficos en la producción del espacio de la nación (Chile, 1990-2016)”), as well as work conducted by the Patagonia UC Station/International Human-Environment Observatory, Exploradores Bay, LabEx DRIIHM, INEE, CNRS, various workshops, many conversations and, most importantly, great friendship. Our thanks go to all who participated, whether directly or indirectly, in its creation. (Introduction)