Reconsidering the Patagonian Worker Movements of the 1920s: Francisco Coloane’s and Luis Sepúlveda’s Rebellious Chilotes
AbstractIn an effort to take into account the diversity possible within historical narrative, this article analyzes portrayals of the Patagonian strikes of the 1920s and their ensuing repression in texts of varying genres by Osvaldo Bayer, Bruce Chatwin, Francisco Coloane, and Luis Sepulveda. While all of these versions of the events favor the workers' movement over the land and business owners, Sepulveda's and Coloane's works are unique in that they foreground the most forgotten individuals who took part in this conflict, those from the southern Chilean island of Chiloe. Coloane and Sepulveda give these migrant wokers agency by making them central figures, focusing on their personal experiences, and showing them attempting to resist the abuses of the ranch system. This differs radically from the persistent stereotype perpetuated in other texts of the Chilotes as passive followers who allowed the strike leaders to blindly lead them to their deaths.
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