• Anabel Soriano Oliva
4. term, Global Refugee Studies, Master (Master Programme)
This thesis explores the relation between social imaginaries of emptiness and
crisis in contemporary rural Spain. Particularly, it investigates the implications of framing
a territory in process of depopulation or abandonment as empty/emptied throughout
cultural representation. To do so, first, it examines the emptiness as a historical category
to explore demographic trends as well as the representation of the rural world in the book
La España Vacía. Viaje por un país que nunca fue. Second, based on Rancière’s
aesthetics, it studies the emptiness as an ideological tool that shaped imaginarily and
morphologically the territories that are labelled as such. Under the category the
(re)distribution of the sensible (Rancière, 2004,2010) it looks into what is made visible
through the photo’s different perspectives in the exhibition Sand Castles I and II and the
main two characters in the novel Los Asqueroso. To read what both cultural
representations made visible, an hermeneutic method is conducted to understand what are
the social imaginaries (Castoriadis, 1987) that are inhabiting such territories. As a result,
both abandoned territories unveil themselves as products of a historical past, and hence
conformed by instituted imaginaries; but simultaneously, as a space to instituting new
imaginaries, that is, as a place to imagine otherwise what is possible. Concluding that the
emptiness symbolization of rural territories as in crisis belongs to exogenous voices, that
by resorting to that emptiness, look for their own redemption in a future-yet-to-come.
Publication date25 Oct 2021
ID: 451100787