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Atenea (Concepción)

On-line version ISSN 0718-0462


RODRIGUEZ TORRENT, Juan Carlos  and  MEDINA HERNANDEZ, Patricio. Reconversion, damage and abandonment in the city of lota. Atenea (Concepc.) [online]. 2011, n.504, pp.147-176. ISSN 0718-0462.

Lota is a mining city and mono-producer of energy wealth which, from the nineteenth century up to the middle of the twentieth century, had an impact on the economic and territorial development of Chile. It expresses the local version of the Industrial Revolution and capitalist social relations of production. A historical subject with labor and class identity, distinguished by the form of working underground was constituted, giving rise to a singular workplace culture and epic, and forging a union and organizing tradition that denounced the unfair conditions of work and life of the local population. The decline of the value of coal and increased production costs dictated the closure of the mining shafts after nearly 150 years of operation. This obliged on the one hand, the formulation of a Plan of Conversion and on the other, would leave the newly unemployed workers and the city itself to be dismissed as marginal and residual. This paper explores the difficulties for the resumption of post coal production in a patriarchal world and appreciates anthropologically the loss, the problems associated with self-image and the rituals associated with precarious social and economic conditions and low-skilled workers. It is proposed that a biographical rewriting is more of a symbolic problem than a technical one.

Keywords : Labor; mining; tradition; epic; conversion.

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