Abstract

Abstract:

Following World War II, borders were being redrawn and there was a renewed geopolitical interest around the world in Antarctica as a strategic outpost. The writings of Miguel Serrano, an avowed Nazi, detailing his participation in the Chilean government's 1947 expedition to "confirm sovereignty" (Pinochet de la Barra 39) in Antarctica (particularly 1957's Quién llama en los hielos) helped lend the continent the symbolic significance that it continues to hold for many today. Serrano introduces the Antarctic landscape as an aestheticized metaphor for Chile's imagined racial purity and its pretensions at nationalist, geopolitical domination, while also figuring it as a source of mythologized, occult-based images and conspiracy theories. This essay engages with these aspects of Serrano's work on Antarctica, and then moves on to a series of subsequent cultural artifacts that demonstrate how Antarctic ice is also a motif through which some Chileans have critiqued the legacy of fascism. This essay thus contends that Serrano's work on Antarctica is a key, yet under-examined, piece of a Chilean archive of fascist (and anti-fascist) aesthetics, connecting white supremacist texts written after the War of the Pacific to the geopolitical obsessions of the Pinochet regime and the memory struggles of the postdictatorship period.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2164-9308
Print ISSN
0034-818X
Pages
pp. 505-532
Launched on MUSE
2020-09-27
Open Access
No
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