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Wild treasures and natural families: wildlife film and the enactment of a new Spanish national Nature in Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente’s El hombre y la Tierra: Fauna ibérica (1975–1981)

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Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente’s immensely popular wildlife film series Fauna ibérica (1975–1981) has been credited with having transformed Spaniards’ attitudes toward Iberian wildlife. In this article, I show how Fauna ibérica materially enacted the abstract idea of a modern “national Nature” by forging a material-semiotic network that wove together legal, scientific and literary discourse; living animals; technological objects; state television audiences and the new nature-conservation agencies of the Spanish state. On one hand, abstract discourse was attached to particular animal bodies and spaces, which, after having been physically subjugated, framed and translated through film technologies, became durable, portable and fascinating natural objects for the enjoyment of mass audiences. In this way, Fauna ibérica contributed to establishing narrow limits for environmentally oriented civic and political action by establishing what valuable Nature is, where it is located, how it can be known and managed and how it relates to the modern state and local television audiences during the Transition. Fauna ibérica also created connections between people and wild animals by inscribing class hierarchies and patriarchal gender norms and values as a sociobiological truth that could be observed in Spain’s “national Nature”.
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Keywords: Spanish television; Wildlife film; environmental cultural studies; environmental history; popular science in Spain

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Spanish and Portuguese, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA

Publication date: October 2, 2019

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