Tindaya Cosmopolitics

Dr Isaac Marrero Guillamon explores the controversy surrounding the mountain of Tindaya (Fuerteventura, Canary Islands).

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Tindaya Mountain in Fuerteventura, 2018.

Tindaya Cosmopolitics is a British Academy-funded project exploring the controversy surrounding the mountain of Tindaya (Fuerteventura, Canary Islands).

Despite being a listed site by virtue of its indigenous engravings and the singularity of its environment, the mountain features three quarries where its rock was extracted and is also the designated site for artist Eduardo Chillida’s Monument to Tolerance, consisting in digging a huge cubic cave in its interior.

Chillida’s monumental void was enthusiastically supported by the regional and the island’s governments (which provided the funding) and vigorously opposed by environmentalists and archaeologists (who, with their multiple actions, managed to suspend the project into uncertainty).

Since the mid-1990s, Tindaya has become a focal point for conflicting understandings of the meaning and value of the natural environment, indigenous heritage and modern art.

It is indeed a privileged site to analyse the particularities - and truncation - of an imaginary of modernity that continues to characterise post-dictatorship Spain.