A sea uprooted: islandness and political identity on Chiloé Island, Chile
Author: Beatriz Bustos; Álvaro Román

In 2016, the people of Chiloé, an island in Southern Chile, mobilised against the Chilean state for a period of over three weeks. The conflict was triggered by an environmental crisis that affected the main economic activities of the island: salmon farming and artisanal fisheries. This article argues that ‘islandness’ should also be understood as a political stance toward the state. Based on in-depth interviews and an exploration of the concept of islandness, the paper examines the mayo chilote, and contributes an empirical reflection on the transformation of islandness as a political position by analysing the tension between two narratives, each demanding different treatment for the island: demand for redistribution led by those directly affected by economic losses resulting from the crisis, and autonomy as development, involving deeper and broader criticism of historical relations with Chile. We aim to contribute to island studies by providing a non-binary understanding of processes of identity and social mobilisation.

Author: Beatriz Bustos; Álvaro Román
Year of Publication: 2019
Journal Title: Island Studies Journal
Keywords: Chiloé | conflict | islandness | islands | salmon farming | social mobilisation
Corresponding Author: Álvaro Román
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24043/isj.91