Nomadism and Poverty, of how Capitalism rides on the shoulders of inequality in “Ciudad nómada, rebaño miseria” (2020) by Pablo Loperena

If cities could move from place to place feeding on one location to another improving, à la nomadic, the conditions of living of their inhabitants, but also producing their own green energy and avoiding the over-exploitation of natural resources; what kind of society would be developed in cities like these? That is the intent of “Ciudad nómada, rebaño miseria”, which, lacking an English translation as of today, could be translated into “Nomadic City, Misery Flock”.

In this presentation, I aim to analyze key aspects of the novel, which speculates about the idea of “very large structures” as was developed by Manuel Dominguez. In Pablo Loperena’s fiction, gigantic structures become mobile cities in which their populations lead an isolated life, where subjects are set apart from natural environments.

At the same time, there is a second nomadic city that follows the gigantic structure, this second city is described with the attributes of primitive human societies, earthbound scavengers that survive through the remnants and garbage produced and discarded by the inhabitants of the large structures that live up in the air. Therefore, the narration sets a vertical distance between populations, in which the inhabited locations (up in the air or down on the earth’s surface) imply unequal levels of technological progress and access to it, a circumstance that causes all kinds of reflections on the living conditions in both societies.

Finally, the complexity of the novel grows with the introduction of a “cultural reserve”, a protected space that introduces a third model of human organization, a sedentary city. This third form of human cohabitation has a critical importance for the development of the plot, but also from the authors’ point of view proposes a moral judgment of the three practices of living portrayed in the novel.

Palabras clave

Inequality Nomadism Science Fiction Sedentism

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Miguel Ángel Albújar-Escuredo

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