Talk by Border Agency in the Pollen 2020 conference, a space dedicated to thinking about political ecology.
Border Agency Group proposes to explore their experiences as an art collective in its last research/practice project. The landscape in question is the eucalyptus plantations (Eucalyptus globulus) of the river region (Chile). They enquire about the history, representation and cultural construction of monoculture lands, particularly how people perceived and inhabited those territories. Their interest is to understand how trees that are a modified technological object in order to improve their efficiency and economic performance are perceived and experienced. Thus, eucalyptus is used as a reference point through which the different social, ecological and political effects of the plantations of this species are explored, problematising the categories of nature, territory, forest and tree.
Scientific evidence classifies the impact of forest plantations as an occupation of the land that generates a loss of biodiversity, damage to the soil, water scarcity, rural poverty, rural-urban migration and risk of forest fires. In sum, they are a “green desert” that generates inequality and poor social coexistence in the affected territories. However, the effect of eucalyptus plantations on the territory is also its fragmentation into units that are not accessible, creating virtual borders, dividing and modifiying the landscape experience.