Decolonising Photographic Landscapes: A Visual Engagement with Chilean Gardens

Montero Prieto, Maria, Maria. 2019. Decolonising Photographic Landscapes: A Visual Engagement with Chilean Gardens. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

Colonial agencies have framed the view of the land, not only
by promoting a perspective of an empty place, but also in the way in which all natural resources have been named and classified. The perception of the landscape in Chile still occurs as a mirror to that which was perceived as being in a distant land, and this perception has constrained the way people can envision, plan and experience its territory today. This research undertakes a decolonial visual inquiry into photographic landscape in Chile. By engaging specifically with an everyday landscape and the garden, this research reworks relationships between people and their perceptions in lived environments. Through this investigation I seek to interrogate how colonial views of the land have framed experience and perception of Chilean territories, from the infrastructural, to the everyday.

Focusing on gardens as the sites to engage with decolonial approaches, this research was undertaken at two distinct locations, Puerto Varas and Iquique. I look at how gardens as landscapes are perceived, made and represented. I further work through photographic practice to develop alternative views of landscape that involves people within the places they inhabit. Working with photography as a tool to get involved at these sites, I extend Flusser’s concept of the technological apparatus by investigating photography as a process of ongoing creation. Consequently, I create a series of visual experiments which critically explore the issues emerging during this research, and allow me to create an alternative way of representing Chilean landscapes whilst reworking their form, content and circulation through an engagement with decolonial practices, theories and inhabitations.

Consequently, this inquiry has several implications for the three main problems it addresses. Firstly, the representation of landscape (and its colonial imposition); secondly, the photographic apparatus and its relation to textural descriptions and the metadata; and, finally, decolonial experimentation as a process of practical engagement.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):

Additional Information:

Redacted thesis with third party copyright material removed.


Landscape, decolonial, visual culture, photography, art, chile, iquique, puerto Varas, gardens

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


31 January 2019

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

09 Apr 2019 11:41

Last Modified:

07 Sep 2022 17:14


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