Between Horizontality and Verticality: Infrastructures and Geographical Imaginaries in Post-Colonial Peru

Gonzalo Romero Sommer

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva


This article analyzes the different geographical imaginaries that emerged in Peru after independence and how they were shaped and molded by the infrastructures that were imposed upon complex landscapes. I argue that horizontal geographical conceptions of the Peruvian territory were reinforced by the development of “communication” infrastructures, specifically road building, which depicted the Andean Mountain chain as an obstacle towards national integration. Conversely, from the middle of the twentieth onwards, vertical depictions of Peruvian geography emerged, fueled by the construction of large-scale hydroelectric plants, which depended on the very complexity of Andean topography which made the construction of other types of infrastructures difficult. In this vertical conception, the complexity of the Andes not only had to be “conquered,” but also skillfully “harnessed.” Both horizontal and vertical imaginaries of Peruvian geography coexisted, furthering the notion that Peruvian geography presented both a problem and a possibility for the pursuit of national development. © 2022 The Author(s).
Idioma originalEspañol
Páginas (desde-hasta)82-107
Número de páginas26
PublicaciónHistoria Ambiental Latinoamericana Y Caribeña
EstadoPublicada - 20 dic. 2022

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