The Italian Embassy in Buenos Aires has promoted two events aimed at illustrating the environmental, wildlife, and cultural importance of the Gran Chaco, an area whose wealth and problems are still little known, even if it represents Latin America’s second-largest green lung. The Gran Chaco is a region that has had – and continues to have – strong ties with Italy in terms of the travelers and artists that made it famous in the world in the 1800s, of the numerous Italian communities living there and of the Italian-Argentinian businesses that operate there.
The first event is represented by the exhibition “El Chaco de ayer y hoy – Tras los pasos de Guido Boggiani” (“El Chaco Yesterday and Today – Following the Steps of Guido Boggiani”), organized by the Italian NGO Museo Verde in partnership with the Istituto Italo Latino Americano – IILA, the Società Geografica Italiana, the AICS and the EU’s working group Team Europe. The exhibition – which opened last 22 June at the Centro Cultural Kirchner and is scheduled to run until 10 July – illustrates the history of Guido Boggiani, artist and explorer, who dedicated his whole life to narrating the cultural and natural diversity and wealth of the Gran Chaco. At the same time, the exhibition aims to raise public opinion’s awareness on the importance of this region through the juxtaposition of old photographs shot by the Italian explorer in the 19th century and the contemporary photographs by Gherardo La Francesca and Luca Rugiu.
The second event is represented by the conference titled: “El Chaco de ayer y hoy – Jornada de estudios: Exploración y Emigración italiana en el Chaco” (El Chaco Yesterday and Today – A 2-day Workshop: Italian Explorations and Emigration in El Chaco”), co-organized with the Fondazione Gran Chaco. The conference took place on 24 June and included contributions by Chiara Scardozzi (La Sapienza University of Rome, member of the Italian Ethnological Mission for South America); Pablo Wright (University of Buenos Aires); and Claudio Zin (Centro Ítalo-Argentino de Altos Estudios).