Blanca Wiethüchter: Unnaming The Landscape. Politics And Poetics of Representation in the 1980s in Bolivia


  • Mauricio Duarte Case Western Reserve University



Aesthetic Politics, Andean Landscape, Andean Urban Space, Bolivia (1952-1982), Cultural Memory, Lost Decade, “Lenguajes Recordantes, ” Mestizaje


This article examines the relationship between poetic writing and the discourse of landscape in Madera Viva y árbol difunto (1982) by Blanca Wiethüchter (1947-2004). Landscape is often understood as a modern device of normative representation in which people and places are classified merely as private property. I argue that Wiethüchter’s poetry establishes a counter-narrative of the landscape through the use of a poetic gaze that reinstates social and marginal imaginaries by recognizing the materiality of such landscape and, most importantly, the political role of imagination in shaping the sense of the real. In doing so, I show how Wiethüchter uses poetic language to claim multiple and conflictive realities that lie beneath the names and harmonic appearances of things. Finally, by analyzing Wiethüchter’ poetic and critical work in dialogue with thinkers and scholars such as García Linera, Mamani, Zavaleta Mercado, and Rivera Cusicanqui, this article contributes to the understanding of the politics of representation during the 1980s in Bolivia.