ABSTRACT

How do the popular uses of, and movements around, the nation intervene in the constitution of national identities in Latin America? What effects have the massive migration flows had on the popular expression of senses of affiliation to place? Addressing these questions, this chapter examines citizens’ relationships with variegated national places-the neighbourhood, the city, the region and so on. While Chapter 4 discussed the role of popular cultures in providing sites for the expression of national identity at the international/ national interface, this chapter examines the interactions between ‘local’ and ‘national’ spheres in social practice, and in creative expressions. Non-official imaginative geographies and spatial relations with the nation are the focus, in order to provide an analysis of the ‘other side’ to the state project of constituting national landscapes. People hold clear ideas about how their nation is organized spatially and socially, ideas informed by popular cultures. Drawing on substantive material from around Latin America, the chapter examines the ways in which conceptions of place and an ‘aesthetics of place’ are articulated in discourse and practice.