At the end of the 18th century, the Spanish colony devised the population plan for the Patagonian coast aiming to reaffirm its presence in the area. This essay builds upon the discussion of the “master account” Argentinean historiography has put at stake, such as the implied naturalization of State-nation borders towards the past, and the neglect of former pre-existing historicity, spatiality and social dynamics on the Patagonian region. Particularly, I’m interested in problematizing the role played by materiality in the assumptions of a homogeneous, empty, plain space, circumscribed to the Atlantic coastlines, dissociated of indigenous processes and populations from the Patagonian inland and the Trans-Andean area. This allows us, then, hypothesize that the “apparent” materiality of the settlements worked as a scheme that helped blur the specific colonial shaping of social relations occupation, rule, exchange and production, while being shaped as a locus for the reproduction of the Nation-State account.
Keywords: Patagonian coast, 18th century, national historiography, spatiality, materiality.