1. Kreator says

    Your guesses were fairly accurate, jazzlet. This section of the mural juxtaposes the successive waves of white colonists and immigrants with the atrocities commited against the original populations. Specifically, in pictures #1 and #3 we’re shown representations of the “conquest of the desert,” an openly genocidal campaign started by president Julio Argentino Roca, which took place between 1878 and 1885. The successful objective was to steal lands from the Aónikenk, Mapuche and others, and establish the complete dominion of the Argentinian government over the region. You can clearly see the negative consequences in the faces of so many of those people depicted across the painting.

    Welsh colonists were in fact the first Europeans to create permanent settlements this far south in the country. In 1862 they were given permission by the Argentinian government and finally arrived on july 28th, 1865. It’s said that they managed to easily establish friendly ties with the Aónikenk, but of course, if you ask the Aónikenk themselves you’ll learn that the true story wasn’t so rosy (according to stories I’ve been told, at least until the middle of the 20th century territorial disputes between the Welsh and later European immigrants often ended in shootouts, so I can’t begin to imagine what would have happened at those earlier times.) Anyway, the Welsh established themselves and begun herding sheep and using the Chubut River, the life and backbone of our province, for agriculture. They created an extensive network of channels to bring water to more deserted areas. In those times the river tended to overflow periodically, as depicted in pictures #3-4. This was changed with the construction of dams later on.

    Other events depicted: in picture #3, the establishment of the border between Argentina and Chile. In 1902 a decisive referendum is carried out at a school in the 16 de Octubre Valley, in which Welsh settlers agree to stay under Argentina’s jurisdiction. Picture #4: the discovery of the region’s great paleontological importance. The Central Chubut Railway, which functioned between 1888 and 1958.

  2. voyager says

    I like the small range of colours. I think it highlights the emotional impact of the depicted events. Thanks for sharing this Kreator. I always enjoy seeing art and culture from other countries.

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