Uruguay is popular for its beaches, its exemplary use of renewable energies, for the legalisation of marijuana and for the progressive left politics of the former president “El Pepe” José Mujica. In the last years the crime rate increased in the capital Montevideo. Many Uruguayans blame the socialist politics. The atmosphere is tense, people ask for a change. Cabo Polonio does not seem to be affected by that atmosphere. It is a small village at the cost, placed in a protected nature reserve and on a rocky plateau, sorrounded only by water and sea lions. People there live mostly without electricity, a lot of houses are built out of waste and tourism ﬂourishes.
Society can be seen through its buildings and constructions. We are located in spaces that, consciously and unconsciously, seperate and unite us. We move on paths which were built by others, which determine our options.
Cabo Polonio lies on a headland, remote and not reachable with a car. The travellers that pass here are making an effort and expect a spectacle of nativeness and freedom. The small houses are spread over the hills, none distracting the other. Other than in the city the people here construct and shape the structures themselves. But all, it looks that way, depending on what tourism demands. The village, the charme of the missing electricity, the remoteness, the feeling of independency seem like a theater play.
headland captures the atmosphere of the village aside from the high season, when the paths inbetween the houses are not crowded with backpackers. I was, aswell, one of those tourists who expected a specific atmosphere in this village. The houses in Cabo Polonio actually provoked feelings of freedom and nativeness in me, because I was not used to the lack of normed structures. „We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are „ – Anaïs Nin holds a mirror up to my eurocentristic gaze.