Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia
Puerto Gaitán municipality, in the department of Meta, has become important on the Colombian economic map. In this paper, I will show the formation of Puerto Gaitán in the last years, exploring changes in the modes of land exploitation, production and use, and the emergence of the image of Puerto Gaitán as a Natural Paradise. Subsequently, I will analyze this representation of nature showing which stereotypes are mobilized and how imaginaries from this place and the whole region of Eastern Llanos have changed following this advertising slogan. Lastly, I will show how modernity is expressed in this municipality by producing this image, and make some reflections regarding both conceiving difference and governing the territory. Natural Paradise appears therefore as an ambiguous image, passing between universality and particularity, which allows disavowing influential people’s exploiting practices.
Keywords: Puerto Gaitán Paraíso Natural, representation, imagination, modernity, nature, difference, disavowal.