Ilustración nariñense, la revista cultural

del sur de Colombia 1924-1955*


María Teresa Álvarez Hoyos[1]

Universidad de Nariño - Colombia

Reception: 02/04/2016

Evaluation: 29/04/2016

Approval: 25/05/2016

Research and innovation article




Este artículo presenta la revista Ilustración Nariñense, una revista cultural de la primera mitad del siglo XX, que se editó en Pasto durante más de tres décadas, cumpliendo una importante función en la construcción de un imaginario colectivo sobre el progreso de la región que pasaba por lograr formas para superar el aislamiento geográfico. Como empeño editorial se convirtió en instrumento para cimentar un proyecto común de transformación de la región, a través de la lucha por la instalación de un sistema vial que facilitara las comunicaciones con el país y el extranjero, bajo el supuesto de que el progreso de la región estaba anclado a la construcción de la vía férrea.


La actividad periodística y ensayística de la revista intentó quebrar el aislamiento intelectual de la comarca y propiciar la difusión de los intereses y problemas regionales. Para el estudio de la publicación se examinaron aspectos materiales y de contenido, que implicó la elaboración de índices temáticos y cronológicos y un análisis de los artículos de tipo hermenéutico, de tal modo que permitiera interpretar los ejes que estructuraron la revista.


Palabras clave: revista cultural, periodismo, región, Ferrocarril del Pacifico, escritores y lectores, Departamento de Nariño.





Ilustración Nariñense [Nariñense Illustration], the cultural magazine of the Colombian south 1924-1955


This article presents Ilustración Nariñense [Nariñense Illustration], a cultural magazine of the first half of the 20th Century, edited in Pasto for more than three decades. This publication achieved an important role in the construction of a collective imaginary regarding the progress of the region, and its attempt to overcome its geographic isolation. The editorial aim of this publication was to become an instrument for the establishment of a common project for regional transformation, through the struggle to install a transport system, which would enable communication with the interior of the country as well as with other countries; under the assumption that the progress of the region was linked to the construction of a railroad.

The magazine´s journalistic work and essays attempted to break with the intellectual isolation of the area, and to promote the circulation of regional interests and problems. Aspects of material and content were examined for the study of this publication. This implied the construction of thematic and chronological indexes, as well as a hermeneutic analysis of its articles, allowing for the interpretation of the axes that structured the magazine.

Key words: cultural magazine, journalism, region, Ferrocarril del Pacifico [Pacific Railroad], writers and readers, Department of Nariño.    



Ilustración Nariñense, la revue culturelle du sud de la Colombie, 1924-1955




Cet article présente l’ILustración Nariñense, revue culturelle de la première moitié du XXe siècle, publiée à Pasto pendant plus de trois décennies. Elle a eu un grand succès dans la construction d’un imaginaire de progrès de la région, dont la consolidation exigeait le dépassement de l’isolement géographique. La revue est devenue l’instrument d’un projet de transformation de la région, en insistant sur la nécessité de construire un réseau routier pour accélérer les communications avec le pays et avec l’étranger, en considérant que le progrès régional dépendait de la construction de la voie ferrée.

La revue a essayé de rompre l’isolement intellectuel et de répandre l’intérêt pour les problèmes régionaux. Pour ce faire, nous avons examiné la matérialité et le contenu de la revue, ce qui a impliqué l’élaboration des catalogues thématiques et chronologiques dans une perspective herméneutique qui permet l’interprétation des axes qui ont structuré la revue.


Mots-clés: revue culturelle, journalisme, région, Chemin de fer du Pacifique, auteurs et lecteurs, Département de Nariño.





The study of the magazine Ilustración Nariñense as a cultural instrument emerged from the research Imaginarios de nación y construcción de la memoria regional en las publicaciones periódicas del sur de Colombia, 1930-1954 ("Imaginaries of the nation and construction of the regional memory in the periodical publications of southern Colombia, 1930-1954"), which was proposed so as to "re-discover" the past of the region and the locality, through journalistic writings that, as in the special case of Ilustración, provided a series of clues about processes such as how the regional and national identity was represented and fostered.




In the case analyzed, it is a publication that connects us with the main problems in which the region was immersed, both with regard to modernizations that the ruling elite wanted to introduce - railroads, roads, urbanization, educational institutions – as well as in the discussions in the intellectual field, mainly related to the historical and literary aspects, fulfilling an agglutinating function within the intellectual field, which makes it an obligatory reference for the history of ideas and culture in the south of Colombia[2].



In methodological terms, a work was carried out of reading and classifying the articles of the journal by themes, identifying the permanencies, the trajectories of the themes, the main and secondary themes, trying to interpret the contents both in the clear and the latent sense.



As a cultural magazine, Ilustración covered a wide variety of topics, although it maintained as a guiding principle the subject of development projects for the Department of Nariño. Because of its characteristics, it constitutes a document of great wealth for the study of the networks of intellectuals of southern Colombia and their articulation with those of a national level. According to Beatriz Sarlo's notion of magazines as "ideological, aesthetic and writing laboratories[3]," it can be said that Ilustración was for the region, the organ of expression of the political and artistic proposals of the leading groups.



Ilustración was proposed to be a "civilizing voice[4]," a promoter of those aspects that would lead the population to establish better ways of doing and living, so that it could achieve "the moral and material progress of this section of the Colombian homeland" ; the link with the region in conforming to the peculiar temperament of the Nariño society, would guarantee it having many readers and the material support of the advertisers, two necessary conditions to consolidate its existence.



The text analyzes the editorial project with the original purposes and the vision that the director imprinted, the role of the editor - director - owner, the writers and the themes, the role of the publication in the creation of the region and its attempts to break the intellectual isolation of the region[5] and the exchanges with the readers through mail, contests and swaps.




The Editorial Project


The magazine Ilustración Nariñense, a monthly publication that was published in Pasto between 1924 and 1955[6], was a cultural magazine[7] that characterized many of the publications of the first decades of the twentieth century. This editorial project was carried out by Rafael Delgado Chaves for more than 30 years[8] and was one of the manifestations of the use of the medial system that most contributed to the profile of Pasto and Nariño and to forming their own memory.



Among the explicit ideals of the journal were:



To favor the work of the education, industry, commerce, agriculture of the department, popular hygiene and to take the propaganda beyond the homes of the land, all that can gain us the appreciation of those who do not know us. Placed in this environment and conformed to the peculiar temperament of our society, it hopes to be favored by many readers and a good collection of advertisements that assure it a truly effective life[…]



We hold firm the hope that Ilustración Nariñense, like other magazines circulating in regions which enjoy a greater reputation for progress and culture than ours, will not fail in the noble enterprise that proposes to contribute its contingent for the moral and material progress of this section of the Colombian homeland. Expressing the ideal that this publication proposes, it offers its pages to the intellectuals of the department who wish to collaborate with writings of general interest, dealing with the indicated topics.



In order for Ilustración Nariñense to have its special appeal, it will be decked out with the greatest number of photogravures that can be made, taken from our beautiful city and its picturesque surroundings, as well as from other populations and fields of Nariño that deserve to be published[9].



It was a long-term editorial effort, which served as a window of expression for those who launched themselves as writers from the field of journalism, and provided abundant elements for building the story that would link the Nariñenses with each other and with the country. Martin Barbero in the text “Colombia: ausencia de relato y desubicaciones de lo nacional ("Colombia: Absence of a Story and Dislocations of the National") cites Pécaut when he affirms that "what Colombia lacks more than a 'founding myth' is a national story," referring to an account that made possible that Colombians of all classes, races, ethnicities and regions, place their daily experiences in a minimum shared plot of griefs and achievements[10].



And it is precisely that which is seen in the analysis of the examples of Ilustración Nariñense, whose stories begin to "weave a common memory, which like all social and cultural memory will always be a conflictive but knotted memory[11]." This "collective text" gives us insights into the ways in which a group of intellectuals, from various political and cultural origins, interpreted the common project of the transformation of the region with modernizing characteristics and how this magazine influenced the "shaping / enlargement / innovation of the cultural or literary field[12].”



Since the nineteenth century, the writing of local and regional history had not been a concern for the elites of the center of the country, since the main referents around which the writing of history should revolve were the categories of state and nation, so that the provinces "in spite of being the basic parts of national unity" were only incorporated into such stories if in them there had been any events significant for republican life or if there had emerged political or military leaders there[13]. However, this publication had a leading role in the regional cultural field and, as Maryluz Vallejo notes regarding the regional press, it “has demonstrated its capacity to establish identity traits, to represent the culture, the mentality and the character of a community; of divulging language and customs that are automatically received on the part of its readers[14]."



The link with the readers was reinforced both by the impulse that the magazine gave to citizen causes and by the writings of those who were considered "figures ​​of the region." Jorge Verdugo notes that the poet Luis Felipe de la Rosa[15] considered that "the collection of this magazine contained the history of Pasto and of the department in the last 20 years and was the authentic expression of our vernacular culture[16]."



Its director-owner maintained a clear defense of the Catholic religion and the conservative party, without evidencing sectarianism towards the liberal party. The vision of country and region that Delgado had and shared with some of the collaborators, is perceived to be little affected by the ideological changes that occurred in the thirties and forties, when conservative hegemony was shaken by the rising to power of liberalism, which gave space for transcendental reforms in the social and political order of the country.



This does not prevent the magazine from being a reflection of important concerns regarding the development of the region, its position in the country, traditionally undermined; as well as the possibility of agitating and raising the discontent of the population for the treatment of which they were the objects by the different governments of the first half of the twentieth century. In contrast to the Nariño intellectuals, the studies on the regional past developed by lettered groups from Antioquia since the nineteenth century, who especially emphasized differentiating Antioquia with the rest of the country by "constructing a discourse of local identification" ; these groups "interpreted the mountains that isolated the regional territory as the propitiators of the conditions that allowed the emergence of "the sober and energetic Antioquenos "and the generation of an independent and democratic character[17]."



The magazine drove and was driven by the urbanization process of the city and the modernizing efforts that would incorporate a factor of progress such as the railroad, which would open up socially and geographically isolated areas, so that this region had similar conditions for life to the center of the country. This mixture of tradition and modernity articulated the social and cultural transformations that were shyly or openly raised by the writers of the magazine. It tried to maintain the vision of a gradual change that did not alter the principles imposed by the catholic-conservative vision.



Plinio Enríquez, perhaps the liberal writer with the most radical thought of those who collaborated with the magazine, proposed in 1935 the need for Ilustración Nariñense to open up to the new approaches proposed by the Liberal Republic:



To mention only the Nariño magazines, I especially like Anales de la Universidad, Boletín de Estudios Históricos and Ilustración Nariñense. (...) I have been interested in making them known in the great capitals where I have traveled, looking for exchanges, reproducing articles, so that our new lyrical and scientific values ​​are fully known outside the territory (...) I would love that Ilustración, as a sectional exponent of Nariño, serenely report and analyze the new sociological stage that opens up with the advent of what in Colombia is known as the Liberal Republic[18].



It is even less possible to speak of the fact that the magazine had contact with the movement of the Latin American avant-gardes, a current which reached its peak between 1915 and 1940, and which was characterized by "the opposition to the values ​​of the past and to the artistic canons established by the bourgeoisie of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth[19]," as well as by the rejection of the social circumstances generated by capitalism[20].



Photo 1. “El Maestro de la Juventud Licenciado José Vasconcelos” (The teacher of the youth José Vasconcelos)

Cover Ilustración Nariñense No. 38 July 1930


It made possible the expression of the Nariño intellectuals, who wrote about history, education, characters of the region and all kinds of events, whether religious – catholic -, political, social, or to do with transport or hygiene, which could support the ideals with which the magazine was designed. In most issues, Delgado or someone on his team wrote about what he considered to be the axis of Nariño's development - the Pacific Railroad and everything around it - with the message that the department's progress was anchored to the construction of the railway.



In order for Nariño's "collective project" to have resonance in the spheres of power, it was able to accommodate people from politics and culture such as Luis López de Mesa, Luis Eduardo Nieto Calderón, Laureano Gómez and Eduardo Santos.



When arriving at edition No. 50 in the year 1933, its director, Rafael Delgado registered some critical judgments on the journalistic work and congratulations received from the first editions:



Each issue of this magazine is a triumph. Subscribers look forward to it and read it with delightful pleasure. Its prestige has saved the country’s borders and abroad the men of letters pay homage. Dr. Oscar Terán in Motivos Colombianos [Panama] says: "Neither the format, nor the sharpness, nor the photogravure, nor the reading material can envy the other publications of its kind in the country. It is religious, historical, political, commercial, economic, literary and social and in all these activities stands out as select, clean. The public men of the department, the ecclesiastical dignitaries, chosen examples of the Nariño woman, are paraded through its pages in effigies and biographies; everything, in the end, that thinks, writes, moralizes and beautifies, that is, the whole of life; a strong active life, eager to improve "

                Juan Hienard[21]



Photo 2. Mrs. Bertha López de Rojas

Cover Ilustración Nariñense No. 50 August 1933


The included propaganda announced the importing and exporting houses of cities like Pasto, Túquerres, Tumaco and Barbacoas, with a display of articles ranging from cars, typewriters, pianos, pianolas and from articles of clothing to delicate foodstuffs, highlighting the department's communication with the outside world[22]. The cover of the magazine was elaborated in the photo-engraving workshops of the department and, later, in the photographic house owned by the director of the publication.



The director - owner Rafael Delgado Chaves (1884-1955)


Rafael Delgado was born in Pasto on April 3, 1884, to the family formed by Leonidas Delgado Flores and Carmen Chaves. At an early age, he entered the Marist Community and taught in Popayán, Buga and Ibagué in the schools of this community. On his return to Pasto, he continued teaching activities at the Normal School and the Universidad de Nariño on the subjects of geometry, drawing and French[23]. He practiced photography as a professional activity, and offered his services in the magazine in three fields: photo-engraving, photography and enlargements.



Photo 3. Rafael Delgado Chaves

Photo from the personal archive of Mrs. María Eugenia G. de Moncayo

Source: Edgar Ricardo Figueroa, “La Fotografía en Pasto”, 144


In the second governorship of Julián Bucheli (1918-1922), the Departmental Press imported a photo-engraving workshop from Germany, thanks to the efforts of the director Enrique Zarama, who "with a progressive spirit strove to equip the press with a graphic art workshop that would serve to illustrate the official publications and to attend also to private works. The cost of the workshop was 4,000 pesos and it had all the elements for the execution of halftone, zincography and trichrome stencils."[24] Once the workshop was installed, it was necessary to hire a technician for its management, for which the government took steps in Bogotá, Quito and other centers, without managing to find one.


It was then, when a Spaniard applied, Jose Jordá, with whom the governor entered into a contract to direct the workshop and teach three graphic arts technicians, one of whom was Rafael Delgado. "As the photography workshop was, from the beginning, a novelty, many jobs were presented to illustrate newspapers and magazines. El Diario del Sur opened a beauty contest at that time and for that reason he used many stencils for the candidates for the crown. All this served to give practice to the students in the handling of the machinery and substances[25]." When Don Jose Jordá left the workshop after having fulfilled his contract, Delgado was left as the director of the workshop.



Mr. Delgado, like all editors, had a role of undeniable value in having this publication remain current for more than thirty years. Temístocles Pérez, one of the most assiduous collaborators of Ilustración Nariñense, said that he maintained the magazine "against all the odds[26]."



About the directors of magazines, Fernanda Beigel notes:



Generally, they were high-caliber exponents in the intellectual field of each country and acted as the catalysts of new political-cultural projects, sometimes they were advisors, sometimes they contributed as collaborators, but essentially, they were agents of diffusion par excellence. Journal editors were generally editorialists, political leaders, essayists, lecturers, ideologists, booksellers, distributors, typographers, and printmakers[27].


The director of Ilustración united several of the activities enumerated by Beigel since, in addition to writing featured articles for the publication, he wrote essays, was a typographer and was dedicated to photography, as evidenced by various announcements appearing on the interior pages of the magazine[28].



Regarding the figure of the editor, Roger Chartier says that "all dimensions of the history of printed culture can be associated with the figure of the editor, the practice of editing, the choice of texts, the book business and the meeting with a reading public[29]."



With the elements that contributed to the intellectual field and the journalistic practice of the time, Delgado advanced campaigns for the achievement of a more equitable treatment of the southern region of Colombia, exhaustively informing the readers on the possibilities of progress that the railroad and roads that opened up the fields and the jungles of Nariño and Putumayo[30] would bring. However, it is important to note with Beigel that "the trajectories of the editorialists show in a privileged way, as Lucien Goldman would say, that a work is always a meeting point both of the life of a group and of individual life[31]," and Delgado's work in the magazine was linked to the group of regional writers who supplied the publication frequently.



Writings and Writers


Although with more than half a century of difference, the magazine Ilustración Nariñense shared with El Mosaico (Bogota, 1858-1872) some characteristics in the writing team. Loaiza, in his study of El Mosaico, noted:



The circle of writers from Bogotá closest to the foundation of El Mosaico had ostensible links with the conservative, Catholic and philo-hispanic spheres; moreover, some of them did not hide from being kinds of lay representatives of Jesuitism. Systematic distributors of what they considered decent and tasteful, they had a history of broken polygraphs: writers of school texts, cadres of habits, didactic and satirical poetry, founders of newspapers and occasional drafters of laws, constitutions or manuals of grammar. They had also frequented state jobs and were not unaware of the use of weapons at the time of the civil wars[32].



History, literature, journalism, jurisprudence or education were the themes to which the editors of Ilustración ascribed as a task or hobby. Most of them belonged to the conservative ranks or to conservative Catholicism, among whom were often priests or religious people who collaborated, and some to the liberal party, in smaller numbers. There is no mention of a permanent writing team, but there is a frequent participation of a group of intellectuals from different fields. In some articles, Delgado refers to the chroniclers of the magazine who conducted interviews or reporting duties[33].



Among the most frequent collaborators are the priests Aristides Gutiérrez (1862-1938), Samuel Delgado Ch. and Alejandro Ortiz López and the religious men, Brothers Antonio de Padua and Anacleto[34]. The first three, very close in literary aspects, participated as jurors in the competitions held by the magazine and wrote about leaders of the Catholic Church or people related to it. Lawyers dedicated to politics such as Federico Puertas, Manuel María Rodríguez (1868-1935), Ángel María Guerrero (-1934), José Elías del Hierro (1905-1991) and Olegario Medina made frequent appearances with articles on the situation and the development of Nariño. Others like Roberto Hinestrosa, wrote about the Pacific Railroad.



The historian José Rafael Sañudo (1872-1943) often contributed essays about the history of the foundation of Pasto and life in the colony, the inequities with which the Department of Nariño was treated and he participated in controversies resulting from the publication of his work Estudios sobre la vida de Bolívar. The importance of this work was "to have challenged the figure of Bolivar, at a time when the cult of myths was very well founded and was considered a necessity for the cohesion of the centralist sense of nation[35].”



The magazine strongly supported Sañudo's work and protested that it could not make use of "our rights to think and write, so that with our own opinions we can illustrate matters of a general nature and historical value" [36]. Nevertheless, the publication gave space to different tendencies in the approach to historical problems, as can be seen in accepting collaborations that supported opposing points of view in the controversy around Bolívar by Sañudo[37]. One contradictor of the writer was the historian and humanist Sergio Elías Ortiz (1894-1978), who refuted in several articles Senudo’s positions regarding Bolivar, under the pseudonym of Un indio patriota (a patriotic native), which in turn were answered by Sañudo with the pseudonym of Próspero Gallo[38].


From the liberal side, Plinio Enríquez (1878-1946) introduced critical topics about literature and art in the homeland and in Latin America and provided a vanguard position, as he lived in his travels around the Southern Cone, where he had contact with writers like Vicente Huidobro and Neruda.



The poets of the region had a frequent presence, as was the case of Luis Felipe de la Rosa (1878-1946) and Cecilia Guerrero Orbegozo (1913-1951). The biographies of outstanding personages of the department were in the charge of Temístocles Pérez Delgado (1894-?) And Teófilo Albán Ramos (?-1944). These articles have allowed a more precise knowledge of the intellectual elites of the time, that would otherwise have disappeared with their contemporaries.



The humanists and historians of national and international recognition, Leopoldo López Álvarez (1891-1940), José Rafael Sañudo (1872-1943), Sergio Elías Ortiz (1894-1978) and Ignacio Rodríguez Guerrero (1911-1983) contributed articles of regional history, literature or analysis of social problems. Jorge Buendía (1895-1991), an educator trained in Chile, contributed articles on education and the educational institutions of the city; Guillermo Edmundo Chaves (1903-1984), author of the novel Chambú and Jose Rafael Zarama (1870-1940), a historian, also wrote in the magazine.



As occasional collaborators, we find Agustín Nieto Caballero (1889-1975) an educator, writer and diplomat, and his brother Luis Eduardo Nieto Caballero (1888-1957) diplomat, journalist and liberal politician, Alberto Quijano Guerrero (1919-1995) humanist and Nariño writer, Francisco Albán, Alfonso Alexander (1907-1985) controversial liberal writer, Eduardo Andrade, Alberto Montezuma Hurtado (1906-1986) writer, historian and liberal politician, Eliseo Gómez Jurado (1864-1951) conservative politician, Benjamín Guerrero (1862-1940) serviceman in the Thousand Day War and conservative writer.





The journal, presented in the form of a magazine, was published monthly[39] in a format of 23 x 32 cm in 34-page booklets and contained articles commonly dealt with by the newspapers but exposed in a more extensive form. It was comprised of different sections: comments and voices of encouragement to the publication, editorials written by the director or someone on his team, generally dedicated to current issues such as presidential nominations, railway construction or the development of the Department of Nariño, historical themes, a pedagogical page, the state of regional education, literature in Nariño and chronicles about characters from politics, art and literature[40]. There were articles on the European war, diseases such as tuberculosis and its impact on certain populations, analysis of the volcanoes of Nariño and the exposure of visits to cities in the department or the country.



Photo 4. “Erupción del volcán Galeras, el día 10 de octubre de 1932” (Eruption of the Galeras volcano, 10 October 1932)

Cover Ilustración Nariñense No. 48 February 1933



The relationship between journalism and politics, which in our country has been constant since the nineteenth century, was also appreciated throughout the existence of the long-running magazine. Ilustración, in spite of its manifestations of not venturing into political flag waving, spread the conservative discourse, as much through articles that reflected partisan loyalty as through writings that questioned the measures adopted by the liberal governments, like the constitutional reform. For Darío Acevedo, in the period between the 30s and 50s there was a close relationship between journalism, politics and power, given that "journalism has been one of the essential vehicles of the process of affirming partisan loyalties and identities[41].


In 1929, the support was for General Alfredo Vásquez Cobo, who competed for the conservative vote with the teacher Guillermo Valencia and had offered to support the Popayán - Pasto railway[42]. In 1946, the magazine praised the profile of the candidate Mariano Ospina Pérez and invited their readers to vote for him, not only because of the program he proposed "but because he has the irrevocable purpose of building the railroads we need for the effective development of departmental progress[43]." Darío Echandía, liberal candidate in the pre-election visit of 1946, was called "the candidate of continuismo[44] -continued progress-.


In 1950, with the election of Laureano Gómez as President of the Republic for the period 1950-1954, he was described by the magazine as: "A man of the strongest moral background, an outstanding figure of Castilian letters, an undefeated leader and famous speaker, more than 20 years of incessant struggle in the stadiums of national journalism, as the august champion of the ‘Cause of Liberty within Order' [45].


Religious congregations and priests - gold weddings, commemorations and deaths - were given prominence, as were communication and transportation routes. Social notes were not lacking and the mention of the literary or sports competitions promoted by the journal included the concepts elaborated by jurors.



To commemorate the centenary of the death of the Liberator, the Directorate of Public Education dedicated the week of December 14 to 21, 1930, and ordered that



"The mournful ephemeris will be celebrated in a dignified and solemn way in all the spheres of the land of Nariño, devoting the attention of its inhabitants to evoking the glorious memory of the Father of the Fatherland for a week, during which time acts allusive to the great centenary should be verified in order to testify the deep respect and grateful reverence that the Nariñenses hold for the Liberator Simón Bolivar[46].”



The information corresponding to said celebration was published in a special edition commissioned to that end by the Directorate of Education. With the same objective and also with a magazine issue dedicated to commemorating events, the society "Popular Catholic Union " of Pasto held an artistic, agricultural and industrial exhibition on December 17, 1930, in honor of the "veneration and recognition of the exalted social virtues of the Father of the Fatherland[47]." It should be noted that agricultural and industrial exhibitions since the end of the nineteenth century were carried out on dates that had to do with foundational myths, such as July 20th or August 7th, in order for the nation's discourse to penetrate the consciousness of the people.


In the same issue[48], Rafael Eraso Navarrete, the civic leader of the region, presented a report on the results obtained by the Department of Narino at the Ibero-American Exhibition in Seville, closed in June 1930. In this exhibition, Boletín del Centro de Historia of Pasto obtained first prize and a gold medal and Ilustración Nariñense won second prize and gold medal, as an illustrated magazine. In the Section of Photography, Cinematography and Applications, Mr. Rafael Delgado obtained an "honorary mention[49]."



Photo 5. Pabellón de Colombia en la Exposición Iberoamericana de Sevilla (Colombian Hall in the Ibero-American Exhibition in Seville)

Source: Ilustración Nariñense No. 43 July 1931


The journal kept the types of subjects it dealt with constant, always maintaining the presence of a team of local writers, who wrote the featured articles. The director usually touched on controversial issues, such as the government's position regarding the construction of the Pacific Railroad, the road to Popayan or the position of the magazine regarding the reform of the constitution in the period of López Pumarejo. We do not know if the magazine gave rise to any permanent coterie or team, but it is observed that the collaborators were repeated in successive issues.


In its structure, it is possible to be said that it "retains traces of the ‘encyclopedic’ tendency sometimes present in modernist magazines and which was maintained in the cultural publications of the following decades[50]," with the presence of articles on literature, economics, pedagogy, informative sections, correspondence, notes and documents and reviews of magazines and books[51].



The duration of the publication of over 30 years allowed us to follow the trajectory of efforts such as the installation of the railway, of which it can be said that the magazine published the whole process, from the initial jubilation for the approval in Congress, to the disappointment of seeing the rails of the railway line lifted.



Photo 6. Romelia Martínez, Reina de los Estudiantes (Queen of the Students) 1926

Source: Casa Museo Maestro Alfonso Zambrano Pasto

Photo Adriana Zúñiga Alvarez


The mentions of women are focused on the acceptable forms of a public female self, present until the first decades of the twentieth century, in which the "effusive conventionality" of the female poets[52] is displayed, with space frequently given to poems by women and references to those who have obtained publications in the newspapers and magazines of the city. Usually, the focus is on poetry or some other manifestation of art, such as music[53]. On the other hand, we find "gallant" chronicles about the election of the local queens - "Her Majesty Romelia I", queen of the students or "Her Majesty Clemencia I of Ipiales, Queen of Art and Melody and Lady of Labor,[54]" in which they emphasize the role of the woman as an adornment of the society with a profusion of photos and words of proclamation.


Ilustración Nariñense and the creation of the region



The journalistic and essayistic activity of initiatives like that of Ilustración Nariñense attempted to break the intellectual isolation of the region and to promote the discussion and diffusion of regional interests and problems. Yazmín López, referring to Peru at the beginning of the 20th century, argues that this type of journalistic incursion inaugurated new spaces of cultural and ideological dispute, allowing the rise of "a multiplicity of new producing subjects within the realm of the literate culture" but above all, sponsoring "an explosion of narratives about the nation[55]."



Ilustración contributed to the formation of a collective imagination regarding the progress of the region, which went on to achieve an expeditious communication across the sea, with the capital of the country, with Ecuador and Putumayo; a situation that would make it possible to extract the riches that, they said, were wasted because of not having agile channels of communication.


Faith in progress seduced the political class - an enthusiasm also shared by the ordinary people - who set their expectations on the railroad as an instrument of progress par excellence, since it guaranteed the mobility of people and products. A passage by Gastineau, quoted by Benjamin, portrays the tone of the discourse regarding the engine in the second half of the nineteenth century:



"Hail to you, beautiful races of the future born thanks to the railroad!" "To the wagon! To the wagon! The sound of whistle has sounded acute under the vaulting sounds of the station." "Before the creation of the railways, nature did not even throb; she was a sleeping beauty of the forest ...; the heavens themselves seemed immutable. The railroad has animated everything ... The sky has become an active infinite, nature into a beauty in action.[56]



Photo 7. Construcción de línea férrea (Construction of the railway)

Source: Pasto a través de la fotografía. Banco de la República 1989



Law 62 of 1923 had its concretion in the beginning of the work of the railroad from Tumaco to Pasto, thanks to the fiscal surplus that the country enjoyed in the government of Pedro Nel Ospina (1922-1926), with the payment of 25 million dollars that the United States made to Colombia as compensation for the theft of Panama; of this, 65% went to the construction of railways and roads[57].



Authorization was given to raise the number of workers to two thousand; 30 kilometers of rails and some elements of rolling stock were ordered from abroad. The grading progresses from Aguaclara to Diviso. This railway will give the signal of triumph and will mark the Department of Nariño with a definitive seal bringing it abundance and renewal with the oceanic breeze, which is the vital breath of the world[58].



The placing of the first rail of the railroad gave rise to celebrations and parties; in the editorial of the 31st of July of 1926 it was noted that this event:



Has had repercussions and incalculable results throughout the Department in all kinds of ideas and aspirations. The collective morale has risen considerably; and all the noble stimuli of dignity and effort are aroused for the areas of Nariño, promising the far-reaching harvest of the future, worthy of the Latin vine, whose blood and soul inform our race[59].



For the celebration, the governor agreed to the request to celebrate "such an extraordinary event with public bullfights[60]." The program was extended from the 3rd to 6th July, during which there was a solemn Mass and Te Deum, a civic parade, a gala concert, a football match, a shooting and gymnastic exercises competition, a conference on locomotion and transport, public cinema and bullfights, presided over by "Her Majesty Romelia I[61]."



Photo 8. Coronación de la Reina de los Estudiantes (Crowning of the Queen of the Students), Romelia I

Source: Ilustración Nariñense No. 11 February 1926



Everything that represented the mobility, the impulse to the means of communication, which meant breaking the isolation that the geographical conditions had imposed was diffused and amplified through the magazine. In issue No. 40 of 1931, in the Important News section, it was reported that "in Nariño has begun, with a formidable impulse, the North Highway; working on it are 1500 stout workers aided by magnificent machinery[62]."



To bring people and their products closer, breaking the isolation that nature seemed to condemn them to, is then the economic and moral role of the means of communication. The transport networks - and in particular the railway networks - will create a "second nature" that will correct the defects of the first nature, the origin of the economic isolation and the immorality that is observed in the country. It is therefore a question of combating the abrupt topographical conditions of the country and overcoming them by creating a technical infrastructure[63].



Getting involved in the creation of such infrastructure required developments in the field of engineering that went hand in hand with a buoyant and productive regional economy; however, these two factors would inevitably affect the future of the railroad in Nariño, when the reality of the pre-capitalist production conditions of the region, evidences the difficulties of making a commitment of such a magnitude profitable. Technical training had been promoted by the ruling elite of Nariño in the first decade of the twentieth century, with the Faculty of Mathematics and Engineering directed by Fortunato Pereira Gamba, a task that was truncated by the fall of General Rafael Reyes and Governor Bucheli in 1909. Afterwards, the faculty was reopened in the 1920s with sporadic closures and problems in the finding of teachers and students. In spite of this, at the beginning of the thirties it had managed to train a few engineers and surveyors who took care of the engineering work.



In 1930, the railroad tracks had joined the El Diviso - Agua Clara section (17 km from Tumaco) and it was hoped that this rapid route to the Pacific would activate the development of the region, while taking advantage of the opening of the Panama Canal in order to intensify the commercial movement in the port of Tumaco. The local press invited the Nariñenses to maintain a flow of merchandise that would allow the payment of the expenses demanded by the railroad; however, in a short time the difficulties were evidenced by the lack of sufficient merchandise and "by the various and expensive transports of the cargo that circulates between Pasto and Tumaco or vice versa and that adds charges in an exorbitant way onto the price of the articles[64]."



On the other hand, since 1928 the Colombian government stopped receiving external credit resources, which, coupled with the fall in coffee prices and the circumstances of the collapse of the New York Stock Exchange in 1929, led to the paralysis of the financing of the infrastructure works in the country[65]. Nevertheless, the Nariñenses persisted in their effort to continue with the railway between Popayán and Tumaco. In 1938, Ilustración highlighted the management of the new governor Alberto Montezuma Hurtado "because it does not escape his intelligent vision, that we will only achieve effective progress, when Nariño is united with the heart of the country through the parallels of iron (...) From the point of view of national honor, it facilitates the mobilization of troops for defense[66].”


In 1945, representatives from Nariño to Congress obtained the approval of Law No. 26, which ordered the construction of the main western railroad from Cartagena to Tumaco, but "in 1948 the American railroad mission, and later the Currie mission, advised the government to suspend these works, lift the rails from some sections like Nariño and build the railroad of the Magdalena river[67].


         When the lifting of the rails was a reality, Rafael Delgado wrote:



To remove the rails of the railroad would be to remove the soul of the people of Nariño and the greatest outrage that can be inferred on us. Would that we were able to march together to ask the Hon. Mr. President, not only for the preservation of the rails of our railway, but also the continuation of its construction to Pasto[68].



Both Ilustración Nariñense and Letras - another cultural magazine published in Pasto in the 1940s - "brought to their pages the discussion that was taking place in the center of the country about replacing the train with a road (...) Among the Nariñenses there was a great uneasiness in knowing that the land route was being built on the railway embankment[69].



Who were the readers?


The area of the diffusion of ​​the journal is a way of verifying the impact of the publication. "It is clear that the primary diffusion zone is that of the city in which the magazine is published, but when there are exchanges, international distribution, or correspondences, the magazine expands its area and reaches distant and perhaps unsuspected places[70]." Regarding the reception that Ilustración had among the public, Delgado said:



That our modest magazine be requested from different parts of the country, that it be read with interest by the lettered and by those of medium culture, by the ecclesiastic and by the businessman, by the serious matron and by the young woman of fifteen Aprils; without any distrust of Tyrians and Trojans, that alone, we say, fills us with satisfaction and is the most eloquent voice of our sincerity to the society to which we have the honor to belong [71].



In the mails published as Voces de aliento (Voices of encouragement), they congratulate the director for "the substantial pages and such clear photogravures [which] speak very highly of the culture and progress of our department [72]." Different issues report on comments sent from Samaniego, Buga, Cartago, Tumaco, Popayán, Bogotá, Cali, and Ibagué[73]. In other editions it mentions the expressions of congratulations made by newspapers from cities like Cali, Relator and Diario del Pacifico[74], Medellín, El obrero católico and La Defensa, Calarcá, the magazine Luz de Calarcá[75] and Panama, Motivos Colombianos[76].




Photo 9. “El señor Marco Fidel Suarez en la Quinta del señor Julián Bucheli,

rodeado de distinguidos miembros de nuestra Sociedad” (Mr. Marco Fidel Suarez in the country house of Mr. Julián Bucheli, surrounded by distinguished members of our society)

Source: Ilustración Nariñense No. 5 March 1925


El Comercio of Quito commented:


In view of some issues of Ilustración Nariñense, we can assure that it is an appreciable exponent that honors Pasto. Saving the marked mysticism of the remote environment in which Ilustración Nariñense is edited, it contains appealing articles and amiable sections (...) We are surprised by the advancement of journalism these days and the momentum taken by the graphic arts[77].



The "Social Notes" were published in almost all editions and they included messages from travelers, festivities, marriages, condolences, appointments, illustrious guests, announcements about "recent publications received" or events of recent occurrence such as the Barbacoas fire in 1933.



Another form of linkage with the readers was propitiated by the magazine through the literary and sports competitions:



In modern times the newspaper has stopped just being news or commercial, to become the standard bearer of true civilization. Ilustración Nariñense - aware of this duty of the present time - has promoted and carried out five competitions, two of sports and three literary[78].



The first literary contest was carried out in 1924, with two sections of prose and verse; in the prose section, Luis Samuel Fajardo, Sergio Elías Ortiz and Temístocles Pérez Delgado were the winners. The second literary contest took place in Christmas of 1925 with the theme ‘A Christmas story’, to which only five works were presented. The third literary contest was promoted by the magazine in May 1933, on the occasion of reaching issue No. 50, "to reward the best story, the best poetry and the best piece of music[79]." Luis Eduardo Nieto Caballero was the national judge of the prose section and Luis María Mora of the verse section; the works of music were judged by Emilio Murillo and some musicians from the National Conservatory[80].


As for sports competitions, the first was held in 1924 and the second was opened in June 1929, "in order to prepare the department's sports forces for the national Olympics that would take place in Cali[81].



In 1946, the magazine convened a literary contest for the triumph of the journalistic campaign for the construction of the Popayán-Pasto-Ipiales railroad and the completion of the Tumaco to Pasto section, a campaign that culminated in the issuance of Law 26 of 1945, and for the magazine’s approach towards its hundredth edition[82]. Three competitions were opened: the first among historians, with the theme "The crime of Berruecos", "trying to clarify with authentic documents, who was the intellectual author of the assassination of the Grand Marshal of Ayacucho." The second among prose writers, "we propose an attempt at a short novel" and the third contest, exclusively for female poets, a composition in verse[83]:



With these events, which will undoubtedly be well received by lovers of the history of the country and of beautiful words, we intend to join hands with writers who may remain in obscurity for lack of adequate stimulation, bearing in mind that the basis of our literary tournaments, celebrated with remarkable success on several occasions, during the life of this magazine, increased their prestige before the conscious society, like inspired poets and prose writers of note and were placed in the position of honor that corresponds to the following writers:



  Alberto Montezuma Hurtado, Sergio Elías Ortiz, Temístocles Pérez Delgado, Luis Felipe de la Rosa, Guillermo Edmundo Chaves, Manuel Quiñones, Luis Perdomo Torres, Leopoldo López Álvarez, Carlos Cesar Puyana, Francisco Albán, Pedro María Dávalos, Manuel Delgado and Mrs. Zoila Rendón de Mosquera[84].


In 1933, Ilustración was invited to enter into exchange with the magazine Ibero-Amerikanisches Archiv, from the Ibero Amerikanisches Institut, as an example of the recognition it had acquired and of the possibilities for the region to be known by readers of the collections of the institute.



In the desire to make available to our readers a more complete documentation of the important Colombian publications, I am writing to you to propose an exchange between our quarterly magazine "Ibero-Amerikanisches Archiv" and the organ of your dignified address, in such a way that you would serve to favor us regularly with the issues of the magazine "Ilustración Nariñense". In the case of acceptance, we would enter the magazine " Ilustración Nariñense " in our list of exchanges. If it were possible we would very much appreciate the extension of the exchange to all the issues already published of our magazine (...) Waiting for your gratifying reply,


Berlin, Ibero Amerikanisches Institut.  Edith Faupel[85].


In March 1945, J.M. Sheppard, Director of South American Digest, from Quito addresses the director Delgado:



The magazine you run has drawn our attention for your articles related to South America. Since January of this year we have begun the monthly publication of SOUTH AMERICAN DIGEST, in English, in order to bring the people of the United States a genuine expression of the literature of South America, as well as their ideas and aspirations. Each issue is a selection of articles by Spanish-speaking authors and we try to ensure that each republic is represented by its best cultural exponents. We also publish the magazines EXPLORATION in English, and COPIA in Spanish.

We want to ask you, Mr. Director, to allow us to translate and eventually use the articles that appear in your magazine. For our part, we will be happy to authorize you to use the original material of our three publications.

If you accept this exchange that will surely result in our mutual benefit, please put our address on your list of exchanges. As soon as we have received your reply we will begin the regular shipment of SOUTH AMERICAN DIGEST, EXPLORATION AND COPIA[86].



The exchange requests reflect the interest in the magazine from international media, as a result of which can be currently confirmed the existence of the Ilustración Nariñense collection at the Ibero-American Institute of Berlin, between 1933 and 1939[87].



Since Ilustración included in each issue a profusion of photos corresponding to the themes dealt with, the reader was informed on issues such as progress in railroad construction, the participants and logistics in the war with Peru - airplanes, ships, places and troops in the conflict - visits of politicians to the department, ladies of society, marriages, funerals of celebrities, members of institutions, poets and writers and other places of interest according to the theme.



For the readers of the towns of Nariño or other cities of the country, the publication became a link with the region because through it they could learn about the progress made by the department as regards roads, education, industry, hygiene and health, and the progress of different localities. The magazine often featured intellectuals from the region through interviews or reviews of the lives of characters in the field of literature, history, art, or religion; it also detailed the visits of politicians, including parts of speeches and the opinions of the politicians.





A cultural magazine such as Ilustración Nariñense introduces us to the spaces that the intellectual elites of southern Colombia used to spread their ideas about the best ways to bring progress to the region in the first half of the twentieth century, so as to make a diagnosis of the state of the intellectual field of this section of the country and contribute to the knowledge of the political-cultural projects that were carried out in this period.


This type of document tells us how men, and women in their rare appearances, acted, thought and wrote about the circumstances they faced, struggling with the central powers and with socially unequal conditions of possibility, largely due to the scarce development of the productive forces.


Ilustración Nariñense fought for collective projects like the Pacific railroad and road development in Nariño, themes that became the axes that articulated the structure of the magazine; promoted and disseminated the most outstanding departmental undertakings, portrayed the citizen elites both through prose and photography and introduced projects and characters from a region that wanted to stand out in the national context.



As an editorial production experience, it is atypical both in the local context and at the national level, since cultural magazines generally lasted a few years, at best. As a written record, it provides the space to know the production of many intellectuals from the first half of the twentieth century, whose work "lies practically in the newspapers[88]" due to the scarce development of the publishing industry. As a written culture, it should not be seen as a printed culture intended exclusively for reading, because, as Chartier notes, there is another type of evolution that corresponds to "the creation of a public sphere of debate, discussion, criticism[89].”



Knowing what the editorial project of the journal meant, allows a better knowledge about the recent past and a more lucid vision of the current time that allows the revision of the diagnoses about the present. The pursuit of progress, which had succeeded in seducing not only the political class of Nariño but also the majority of the population, what lessons did it leave to the people of Pasto and Nariño about the failure of the Pacific Railroad? It is possible that, as a collective, they have not processed the experience and remain in the cultural substrate as a further frustration, added to historical situations of dislocation with respect to the rest of the country, without taking into account that road development must be matched by the improvement in productive systems.



Ilustración Nariñense can be recorded as "a significant historical source[90] " that provided insights into the ways in which Pasto and Nariño wrote their own memoirs in the first half of the 20th century.



Documental sources


Revista Ilustración Nariñense. Pasto. 1924 to 1955. Nos. 1-120.





Acevedo Carmona, Darío.  “Prensa y confrontación política en Colombia 1930-1950”.  En Medios y nación. Historia de los medios de comunicación en Colombia. VII Cátedra Anual de Historia Ernesto Restrepo Tirado.  Bogotá: Ministerio de Cultura, Aguilar, 2003.


Acevedo Tarazona, Álvaro y Correa Ramírez, John Jaime. “Empresa, civilización y política: representaciones sobre el oficio periodístico en El Diario de Pereira y Vanguardia Liberal de Bucaramanga durante la República Liberal”, Revista de Historia Regional y Local HistoReLo 5, núm. 9 (enero-junio 2013):208-242. Disponible en: (3 abril 2016)


Álvarez Hoyos, María Teresa.  Elites intelectuales en el sur de Colombia. Pasto 1904-1930. Una generación decisiva. Pasto: Editorial Universidad de Nariño, 2007.


Beigel, Fernanda. “Las revistas culturales como documentos de la historia latinoamericana”. Utopía y Praxis latinoamericana 8, núm. 20 (marzo 2003): 105-115. Disponible en:    (22 octubre 2015).


Benjamin, Walter. Libro de los Pasajes (edición de Rolf Tiedemann). Madrid: Ediciones Akal, 2005.


Betancourt, Alexander. “Región y Nación: dos escalas sobre un tema de estudio”. Relaciones (Zamora) 33, núm. 130 (enero 2012): 25-68.  Disponible en:   (20 marzo 2016)


Castro-Gómez, Santiago. Tejidos Oníricos. Movilidad, capitalismo y biopolítica en Bogotá (1910-1930). Bogotá: Editorial Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, 2009.


Chartier, Roger. Cultura escrita, literatura e historia. México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2003.


De la Fuente, José Alberto “Vanguardias literarias ¿una estética que nos sigue interpelando?”.   Literatura y Lingüística, núm. 16 (2005): 31-50. Disponible en: (14 abril 2015).


Figueroa Santacruz, Edgar Ricardo. “La Fotografía en Pasto” (Primera Parte). En Manual Historia de Pasto Tomo XVI. Pasto: Academia Nariñense de Historia, 2015.


Loaiza Cano, Gilberto. “La búsqueda de autonomía del campo literario. El Mosaico, Bogotá, 1858-1872”. Boletín Cultural y bibliográfico 41, núm. 67 (2004): 2-19.


López Lenci, Yazmín. “La creación de la nación peruana en las revistas culturales del Cusco (1910-1930)”. Revista Iberoamericana LXX, núm. 208-209 (julio-diciembre 2004): 697-720.


Martin Barbero, Jesús. “Colombia: ausencia de relato y desubicaciones de lo nacional”. En Imaginarios de nación. Pensar en medio de la tormenta. Bogotá: Ministerio de Cultura, Cuadernos de Nación, 2001.


Melo, Jorge Orlando.  “La libertad de prensa en Colombia: pasado y perspectivas actuales”. En Fortalezas de Colombia (Bogotá: Ariel y Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo) 2004.


Ovares, Flora. “Crónicas de lo efímero: un siglo de revistas culturales y literarias costarricenses”.  Revista Iberoamericana LXX, núm. 208-209 (julio-diciembre 2004): 1003 - 1013.


Pita González, Alexandra, Grillo, María del Carmen. “Una propuesta de análisis para el estudio de revistas culturales”. Revista Latinoamericana de Metodología de las Ciencias Sociales 5, núm. 1 (2015) Disponible en: (1/11/2015).


Restrepo, Alonso. Apuntes, notas y algunos comentarios del Médico de la Comisión de Cultura Aldeana que visitó el Departamento de Nariño. Medellín: Imprenta Oficial, 1935.


Sarlo, Beatriz. Una modernidad periférica: Buenos Aires 1920 y 1930. Buenos Aires: Ediciones Nueva Visión, 1988.


Schwartz, Jorge. Las vanguardias latinoamericanas. Textos programáticos y críticos. México: FCE, 2002.


Vallejo Mejía, Maryluz.  “Los genes de la prensa nonagenaria y centenaria”.  En Un papel a toda prueba. 223 años de prensa diaria en Colombia. Bogotá: Andiarios, Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango, 2012. Disponible en:   (22 marzo 2016)


Verdugo, Jorge. Sobre el Canon y la Canonización de la Narrativa en Nariño en el siglo XX. Pasto: Editorial Universidad de Nariño, 2004.


Zarama, Rosa Isabel. “Historia del Ferrocarril de Nariño”. Tendencias 17, núm. 1 (enero-junio 2016): 87-103.



* The work is derived from the research project “Imaginarios de nación y construcción de la memoria regional en las publicaciones periódicas del sur de Colombia, 1930-1954” ("Imaginaries of nation and construction of the regional memory in the periodical publications of southern Colombia, 1930-1954"), sponsored by the Universidad de Nariño during the sabbatical year of the author. Year 2010

[1] Doctor in Educational Sciences from the Network of Colombian Universities, (Red de Universidades Colombianas, RUDECOLOMBIA, by its acronym in Spanish), UPTC. Master's degree in Education from the Universidad de Antioquia, Bachelor’s degree in Psychological Counseling from the Universidad del Valle. Recent publications: 2015 “Acción Católica, Falange Española y República Liberal: su incidencia en la educación de las mujeres en Colombia. Años treinta” In Historia de las mujeres en Nariño. Tomo I. Pasto: Academia Nariñense de Historia, pages. 307-328. ISBN: 9789585815049. 2015 “Plinio Enríquez, a la vanguardia de su generación”. Manual Historia de Pasto. Tomo XVI. Pasto: Academia Nariñense de Historia, pp. 199-232. ISBN (Colección): 958-33-3584-3. LINES OF INVESTIGATION: History of intellectual culture, history of education, regional history. Email:


[2] Fernanda Beigel, “Las revistas culturales como documentos de la historia latinoamericana”, Utopía y Praxis latinoamericana 8: No. 20 (2003): 106, retrieved on 22 October 2015,  

[3] Beatriz Sarlo et al., “El rol de las revistas culturales”, Espacios de Crítica y Producción, p. 12. Cited in Alexandra Pita González and María del Carmen Grillo, “Una propuesta de análisis para el estudio de revistas culturales”, Revista Latinoamericana de Metodología de las Ciencias Sociales 5: No. 1 (2015), retrieved on the 1 November 2015,  

[4] The name used by Acevedo and Correa to refer to one of the meanings of the journalistic function, as newspapers such as El Diario and Vanguardia Liberal assumed: "self-defined each of the driving agents and at the same time measurement parameters of the civilizing level in their respective societies" Álvaro Acevedo Tarazona and John Jaime Correa Ramírez, “Empresa, civilización y política: representaciones sobre el oficio periodístico en El Diario de Pereira y Vanguardia Liberal de Bucaramanga durante la República Liberal”, Revista de Historia Regional y Local HistoReLo  5, No. 9 (2013): 220-221  retrieved on 3 April 2016,     

[5] The social groups that made up the Department of Nariño, formerly called the Province of Pasto, were struggling to carry out actions that reasserted them as "civilized" and, as Alexander Betancourt writes about the notion of "internal frontier", emphasized the "useful, rich and beautiful nature of that space that from the center of the National State is seen as far away, empty and wild.” A. Betancourt, “Región y Nación: dos escalas sobre un tema de estudio”, Relaciones (Zamora) 33, No. 130 (2012): 33, retrieved on 20 March 2016,

[6] There were 120 issues edited between 1924 and 1955. No. 1 was published on the 24th November, 1924 and the 120th in July 1955, the last issued was prepared by the director Rafael Delgado, who died on the 30th September 1955.

[7] For Fernanda Beigel, cultural magazines "constitute a historical document of particular interest for a history of culture, especially because these collective texts were an important vehicle for the formation of cultural instances that favored the professionalization of literature" Fernanda Beigel, Las revistas culturales, 111-112.

[8] Jorge Orlando Melo, regarding the newspapers of the early twentieth century, comments that these "created without many economic resources, were quickly consolidated as family businesses, that did not resort to external capital", the family business structure along with other features such as political fidelity, objectivity, independence and acceptable information coverage, which has ensured the permanence of newspapers such as El Tiempo, El Espectador and El Colombiano. J. O. Melo, “La libertad de prensa en Colombia: pasado y perspectivas actuales”, in Fortalezas de Colombia (Bogotá: Ariel and Inter-American Development Bank, 2004). As for Ilustración Nariñense, Delgado maintained it as a personal company, with which he carried out purely regional campaigns, a project that ended with his death.


[9] Rafael Delgado, “Nuestro Ideal”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 1 (November 1924): 1.

[10] Jesús Martin Barbero, “Colombia: ausencia de relato y desubicaciones de lo nacional”, in Imaginarios de nación. Pensar en medio de la tormenta (Bogotá: Ministry of Culture, Cuadernos de Nación, 2001), 17

[11] Jesús Martin Barbero, Colombia: ausencia de relato, 17

[12] Fernanda Beigel, Las revistas culturales, 112

[13] Alexander Betancourt, Región y nación, 26-27.

[14] Maryluz Vallejo Mejía, “Los genes de la prensa nonagenaria y centenaria”, in Un papel a toda prueba. 223 años de prensa diaria en Colombia. (Bogotá: Andiarios, Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango, 2012)  (22 March 2016)

[15] Nariño poet (1878-1946)

[16] Jorge Verdugo, Sobre el Canon y la Canonización de la Narrativa en Nariño en el siglo XX (Pasto: Editorial Universidad de Nariño, 2004), 47.

[17] Alexander Betancourt, Región y Nación, 52-53.

[18] Juan del Campo, “Breve entrevista con Plinio Enríquez”, Ilustración Nariñense (June 1935): 27.   

[19] Jorge Schwartz, Las vanguardias latinoamericanas. Textos programáticos y críticos (Mexico: FCE, 2002), 42.

[20] José Alberto de la Fuente, “Vanguardias literarias ¿una estética que nos sigue interpelando?”   Literatura y Lingüística No. 16 (2005): 31-50. (14 April 2015).

[21]  Juan Hienard, “Nuestra Revista en Panamá”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 51 (November 1933).

[22] Maryluz Vallejo notes with respect to this: "Since the second decade of the twentieth century, El Tiempo and El Espectador began to compete in their first pages with advertisements aimed at a wealthy public: Cadillac cars, insurance and river navigation companies, fashion houses, hat shops and electrical appliances imported from the United States. Advertising, a test of the strengthening of the industry and the new habits and the consumption of the time, represented a sure source of income for the press. According to Jaime Jaramillo Uribe, 'the introduction of commercial propaganda is, in my view, the essential and innovative aspect that modernizes the concept of journalism and the press in Colombia'” Maryluz Vallejo Mejía, Los genes de la prensa nonagenaria.

[23] Edgar Ricardo Figueroa Santacruz, “La Fotografía en PastoPart One, in Manual Historia de Pasto Tomo XVI (Pasto: Academia Nariñense de Historia, 2015), 144.

[24] Rafael Delgado, “Historia del taller de fotograbado de la Imprenta Departamental”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 67 (December 1938): 25

[25] Rafael Delgado, Historia del taller, 25

[26] Edgar Ricardo Figueroa Santacruz, La Fotografía en Pasto, 145.

[27] Fernanda Beigel, Las revistas culturales, 109.

[28] Also offered for sale in its photography store: Hortalizas cultivadas higiénicamente” and “las más bellas flores”. Ilustración Nariñense No. 37 (April 1930): 1

[29] Roger Chartier, Cultura escrita, literatura e historia (Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2003), 59.

[30] Some articles on the subject in the magazine: “El Ferrocarril se acerca”, No. 15 (July 1926): 38; “Inauguración de los cinco primeros kilómetros del Ferrocarril de Nariño”, No. 17 (November 1926): 1; “Mensaje de Nariño a la primera autoridad de la Nación”, No. 90 (March 1945): 1; “El Cincuentenario de la Fundación del Departamento”, No. 116 (March 1954): 1-3; “En defensa de Tumaco- Levantar los rieles sería un error fundamental”, No. 116 (March 1954): 12-16.

[31] Fernanda Beigel, Las revistas culturales, 111.

[32] Gilberto Loaiza Cano, “La búsqueda de autonomía del campo literario. El Mosaico, Bogotá, 1858-1872”, Boletín Cultural y bibliográfico 41: No. 67 (2004): 4-5.

[33] An example is "Dr. Ricardo Isaza Salom, who was interviewed by one of our distinguished chroniclers, a few days before his trip to Medellín, to discuss matters related to the Tabacalera del Pacifico Company, of which he is the manager in this city." Crayón, Entrevista celebrada con el doctor Ricardo Isaza Salom”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 35 (October 1929): 21.

[34] J.V.R., “Ilustración Nariñense”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 96 (August 1946): 8.

[35] María Teresa Alvarez Hoyos, Elites intelectuales en el sur de Colombia. Pasto 1904-1930. Una generación decisiva. (Pasto: Editorial Universidad de Nariño, 2007), 335.

[36] Eduardo Andrade, “Glosas sueltas. Un hijo indigno de Colombia”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 12 (March 1926): 14-15;

[37] Jorge Martínez L., “Glosas al libro del Doctor Sañudo sobre Bolívar” (Taken from Mundo al Día), Ilustración Nariñense No. 11 (February 1926): 22-24; Eduardo Castillo, “El libro del Dr. Sañudo. Juzgado por un prestigioso intelectual” (Taken from Doctrina Liberal), Ilustración Nariñense No. 11 (February 1926): 24; Fr. Heliodoro de Túquerres O.M.C., “Una rectificación y un reto al Dr. Sañudo”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 29 (August 1928): 19.

[38] Un indio patriota, “¿Historia?”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 9 (November 1925): 3-4; Un indio patriota, “¿Historia? VI”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 10 (December 1925): 20-22; Próspero Gallo, “Los refutadores del señor José Rafael Sañudo”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 10 (December 1925): 22-24

[39] It was not always possible to edit it monthly, especially in the forties and fifties.

[40] Articles related to the state of literature in Nariño have frequently been published, with the mention of writers and poets of the region, such as the following: M.A. Domínguez Muñoz, “El valor del conocimiento y la Feria del Libro. La contribución de los nuestros en la cultura pública. La Feria Magnifica institución”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 98 (December-January 1946-1947): 4-5; Rafael Delgado, “La cultura de un pueblo”, Ilustración Nariñense. 101 (March 1949): 20-23; this article recounts the tools of cultural dissemination such as libraries and bookstores and interviews the owner of a bookstore about books, readers and sales systems.

[41] Darío Acevedo, “Prensa y confrontación política en Colombia 1930-1950”, Medios y nación. Historia de los medios de comunicación en Colombia. VII Cátedra Anual de Historia Ernesto Restrepo Tirado. (Bogotá: Ministry of Culture, Aguilar, 2003), 285.

[42]Concentración. Vásquez Cobo y Valencia”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 35 (October 1929):1-2.

[43] Rafael Delgado, “Dr. Mariano Ospina Pérez, candidato de la Unión Nacional a la Presidencia. Lo que significa para Nariño el triunfo de su nombre en las elecciones del 5 de mayo”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 95 (May 1946): 2.

[44] Rafael Delgado, “Las visitas a Nariño de los candidatos a la primera magistratura de la República y la construcción del ferrocarril de Popayán a la frontera con el Ecuador”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 91 (August 1945): 1.

[45]Excmo. Sr. Dr. Laureano Gómez Presidente Constitucional de la República de 1950 a 1954”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 102 (January 1950): 1.

[46] Jorge Buendía, “Centenario de la muerte del Libertador y su conmemoración en el Departamento de Nariño”, Ilustración Nariñense, a special edition published by the Directorate of Public Education (December 1930): 1.

[47] Luis F. Fajardo, “El Centenario del Libertador y la Sociedad “Unión Popular Católica” de Pasto”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 43 (July 1931): 1.

[48] No. 43 of July 1931

[49] Rafael Eraso, “Informe del doctor Rafael Eraso Navarrete, delegado por Nariño, sobre el resultado obtenido por el Departamento en la Exposición Iberoamericana de Sevilla”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 43 (July 1931).

[50] Flora Ovares, “Crónicas de lo efímero: un siglo de revistas culturales y literarias costarricenses”, Revista Iberoamericana Vol. LXX: Nums. 208-209 (July-December 2004): 1007. The comment refers to the magazine Repertorio Americano, directed by Joaquín García Monge, from 1919 until 1959.

[51] In No. 59 of 1936 there is a review of the magazine América Española, "a scientific-literary magazine that comes out every month in Cartagena 'La Heroica', and that directs with success the eminent publicist, doctor Gabriel Porras Troconis”. The editer invites you to subscribe to this publication as well as to "the magazine Colombiana that is published in Bogotá so that they enjoy the reading of truly useful productions". In the same site, he reviews the new book by Sergio Elías Ortiz, , Las Comunidades indígenas de Jamondino y Males:  "It is a very curious study of the indigenous type that still has been preserved in Nariño, with its customs, qualities and defects. In his book the author pleads for the improvement of those who were the possessors of part of the American jungles before the conquest. " Rafael Delgado, Ilustración Nariñense  No. 59 (January 1936): 27.


[52] Silvia Molloy, in her essayDos proyectos de vida: Norah Lange y Victoria Ocampo” (Filología XX, No. 2), cited by Beatriz Sarlo, Una modernidad periférica: Buenos Aires 1920 y 1930. (Buenos Aires: Ediciones Nueva Visión, 1988), 70.

[53]Una embajada artística”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 56 (December 1934). The article transcribes the words dedicated to the poet Laura Victoria, in the recital in the Teatro Imperial and to the participation of the young Maruja Hinestrosa in the musical offering.

[54]Su Majestad Clemencia I de Ipiales”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 12 (March 1926): 17.

[55] Yazmín López Lenci, “La creación de la nación peruana en las revistas culturales del Cusco (1910-1930)”, Revista Iberoamericana Vol. LXX: Issues. 208-209 (July-December 2004): 697-720. La Sierra and Revista Universitaria, were Cusco initiatives aimed at producing a regional discourse. La Sierra sought the intellectual cohesion of the emerging generation of Cusco, resorting to the prestige of the past and the Revista Universitaria was proposed "to scientifically approach the reality of the Cusco region under different disciplines, although it concentrated its efforts on resizing the historical studies”. Yazmín López, La creación de la nación, 697-698.

[56] Benjamín Gastineau, La vida en ferrocarril, Paris, 1861, cited in Walter Benjamin, Libro de los Pasajes (Rolf Tiedemann editor) (Madrid: Ediciones Akal, 2005), 602-603.

[57] Santiago Castro-Gómez, Tejidos Oníricos. Movilidad, capitalismo y biopolítica en Bogotá (1910-1930) (Bogotá: Editorial Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, 2009), 71.

[58] Teófilo Albán Ramos, “El Departamento de Nariño”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 12 (March 1926): 4

[59]Ferroviar es mejorarse y tener más altas miras”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 13 (July 1926): 3.

[60] “¡Vivan los toros! ¡Viva el Ferrocarril de Nariño! ¡Viva el entusiasmo!”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 13 (July 1926): 7.

[61]Programa de festejos para celebrar la colocación de los primeros rieles del Ferrocarril de Nariño”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 13 (July 1926): 7.

[62]Noticias importantes. Adelantos de las carreteras colombianas en este año”, Ilustración Nariñense  No. 35 (October 1935): 20.

[63] Santiago Castro-Gómez, Tejidos oníricos, 67-68.

[64] Alonso Restrepo, Apuntes, notas y algunos comentarios del Médico de la Comisión de Cultura Aldeana que visitó el Departamento de Nariño (Medellín: Imprenta Oficial, 1935), 86

[65] Rosa Isabel Zarama, “Historia del Ferrocarril de Nariño”, Tendencias Vol. 17: No. 1 (January-June 2016): 97.

[66] Rafael Delgado, “El doctor Alberto Montezuma y el Ferrocarril de Popayán a la frontera ecuatoriana”, Ilustración Nariñense  (October 1938): 1.

[67] CERO (Carlos Teófilo Rosero), “El Levantamiento de los Rieles del Ferrocarril de Nariño”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 112 (March 1953): 5.

[68] Rafael Delgado, “La levantada de los rieles del Ferrocarril de Nariño”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 120 (July 1955): 1-2.

[69] Rosa Isabel Zarama, Historia del Ferrocarril, 99.

[70] Alexandra Pita González and María del Carmen Grillo, Una propuesta de análisis.

[71] Rafael Delgado, “El Número 12 de nuestra Revista”, Ilustración Nariñense, No. 12 (March 1926): 1.

[72]Voces de aliento”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 12 (March 1926): 35.

[73]Voces de aliento de distintos lugares”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 60 (June 1936):3-4.

[74]Relator, Diario del Pacifico y Adelante estimulan nuestra labor”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 60 (June 1936): 1-2.

[75] Gonzalo Uribe Mejía, “Ilustración Nariñense”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 35 (October 1929): 16-17

[76]Nuestra Revista en Panamá”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 17 (November 1926): 18.

[77]Ilustración Nariñense”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 15 (July 1926): 44.

[78]Diez años de labor de la Revista Ilustración Nariñense. Discurso de Introducción del R.P. Alejandro Ortiz López S.O. en la velada lírico- literaria con ocasión de la distribución de premios”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 55 (August 1934): 2.

[79]Concurso Literario-Musical de Ilustración Nariñense”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 49 (May 1933): 11.

[80] Alejandro Ortiz, Diez años de labor, 2-5.

[81] Alejandro Ortiz, Diez años de labor, 2

[82] Rafael Delgado, “Concurso literario. La llegada de ‘Ilustración Nariñense’ al número 100”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 97 (November 1946): 1.

[83] Rafael Delgado, Concurso literario, 1.

[84] Rafael Delgado, Concurso literario, 1.

[85]Nuestra Revista en el Ibero Amerikanisches Institut”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 52 (December 1933): 15.

[86] J.M. Sheppard, “Intercambio cultural. Atenta comunicación”, Ilustración Nariñense No. 91 (August 1945): 17.

[87] Catalogue from the Library of the Ibero-American Institute of Berlin. 

[88] Roger Chartier, Cultura escrita, 187.

[89] Roger Chartier, Cultura escrita, 86.

[90] Fernanda Beigel, Las revistas culturales, 107.