“Los embrujos secretos del trópico.” Amazon Border and Production of State Space in the Cinematographic Work of Jorge Ruiz


  • Roberto Pareja Middlebury College




Amazon basin, audiovisual rhetoric, city planning, Henri Lefebvre, Jorge Ruiz, regional cultures, state space


This article studies the cinematography of Jorge Ruiz making use of the socio-spatial theory of Henri Lefebvre. It argues that his documentaries, ethnographic films and newsreels for the cinema constitute a discursive totality that presents aesthetically the production of the Bolivian state space during the twentieth century. From an audiovisual rhetoric that plays with notions of verticality, horizontality and centrality, Ruiz’s work locates Andean space as the focal point of state modernization and situates the Amazon basin at the margins of the state. It concludes that in making the Amazon region visible in the nation’s discourse this had the effect of displacing class antagonisms in favor of the conflict between center and regions.

Author Biography

Roberto Pareja, Middlebury College

Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Assistant Professor