The Foreign Passion by Cristian Aliaga
In 2011 Cristian Aliaga, journalist, academic, and one of Argentina’s foremost contemporary poets, left Patagonia to take a journey through the UK and continental Europe.
Aliaga travelled to places that exist and do not exist: former mining communities, destroyed in the 1980s; identikit towns with their franchise high streets; run-down suburban railway stations; and the open spaces of the Yorkshire moors. He visited sites of conflict, like the Falls Road in Belfast, places of poetic significance, including Dylan Thomas’s house and the centres of 'Western' culture that those from the edge of the world are told to admire.
So long the object of foreign gazes or described by others, this was the chance for Patagonia to talk back to the centre.
The Foreign Passion tells tales that inspire and devastate, reflecting our cultures back to us from a different perspective.
About the Authors
Cristian Aliaga (b. 1962) is an Argentine journalist, academic, and poet. He is the founding editor and director of the newspaper El extremo sur and its cultural supplement Confines. He also runs the independent publisher, based in Patagonia, Espacio Hudson. He has written and edited dozens of books, including two anthologies of his poetry, Estrellas en el vidrio (2003, Stars in the Glass) and La suciedad del color blanco (2013, White: A Dirty Colour).
Ben Bollig (b. 1977) teaches Spanish and Latin American literature at Oxford, having worked previously at the universities of Leeds, Westminster, and London. His books include Modern Argentine Poetry. Displacement, Exile, Migration (2011) and Néstor Perlongher. The Poetic Search for an Argentine Marginal Voice (2008).
Praise for The Foreign Passion
'Aliaga proposes a more sober and introspective manner of travel, one attuned to the complex legacies of historical sites and the privilege of travel undertaken for its own sake.'
'A devastating critique of the cultural blindness on which contemporary capitalism relies.'
Publication date: 27 May 2016