Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies
Taylor & Francis
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In the summer of 1946, a landowning bourgeoisie organized the II Livestock Exhibition of Tierra del Fuego, and the Argentinian Navy filmed the introduction of twenty Canadian beavers in the region. Both events echoed power disputes between a military government seeking to nationalize lands and capitals and the European landowners whose privileges were threatened. The events show that landowners and state officers negotiated their interests by articulating Argentina’s white exceptionalism with animals and against racialized others. Interrogating the interspecies articulation of whiteness in Tierra del Fuego during the 1940s, I examine how sheep and beavers helped secure white privilege through land concentration, breeding, racial purification, nature modernization, and eugenic moralities. To answer these questions, I analyze documents and films from local and national archives. My analysis shows the entangled racialization of humans and animals and its effects, including the appropriation of the Fuegian and native identification categories by settlers and the state. This article demonstrates that ‘White Argentina’ is a project desiring to live not only among white citizens but also among white animals. More broadly, I argue that including animals in race and ethnicity studies can better explain the intersectional production of race inequalities.
Dicenta, Mara, White animals: racializing sheep and beavers in the Argentinian Tierra del Fuego (2021). Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies, 18(2), 308-329.