Mythical Infrastructuring: The Work of Stories in the Making of the Chacao Bridge, Southern Chile


Otro(a)s Autore(a)s: Rodrigo Cordero, Aldo Mascareño, Ignacia Rodríguez y Francisco Salinas

Año: 2023

Revista: Nature + Culture

Rodrigo Cordero, Aldo Mascareño, Ignacia Rodríguez y Francisco Salinas. 2023. Mythical infrastructuring: The work of stories in the making of the Chacao Bridge, Southern Chile. Nature and Culture. Vol 18 (3)

The very nature of large-scale infrastructure projects—long design and construction periods, high investment, and impact on social and natural spaces—makes them prone to socioecological and technical conflicts. These conflicts materialize in stories that become keystones in the making of infrastructure. In this article, we analyze the infrastructuring power of stories by drawing on the case of the Chacao Bridge on Chiloé Island in southern Chile, a controversial infrastructure project that has been in the making over the last six decades. We argue that the “absence” of the bridge creates a space for the production of stories on the island’s inherited past and imagined future that keeps recurring and growing in the form of myths. Thus, we propose the concept of “mythical infrastructuring” to capture this process. We then conclude by arguing that the Chacao Bridge project develops its infrastructuring presence over landscape and culture in contradictory ways that cannot be solved technically or symbolically.

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