Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Wednesday, 21 October 2009


Sometimes the hardest part is starting. That was me the other day. I couldn't decide where I wanted the day to take me. Finally, I chose to just Go. Jumped on a colectivo to nowhere and walked and walked.. and walked, and since I had started, I couldn't stop. The day rewarded me sweetly for my choice, and I wandered contentedly up Defensa under the stars to Plaza de Mayo and Casa Rosada, homeward bound. Casa Rosada? Nothing new. This, though, absolutely took my breath away. It amazes me that something so simple as pink lights can turn the ordinary into extraordinary. Maybe it epitomized the magic of the day for me, or maybe it was just so wonderfully unexpected. Someone else in the plaza explained to me that the lights were for Breast Cancer Awareness during the month of October. Whatever the reason, I felt like sitting with a bottle of wine to people watch and get lost in my thoughts before the glow.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Just Watch.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Street Funk

Hermanos Macana: Their sound drew me to them. I listened, entranced like the other street walkers who stopped to form the growing semi-circle. It wasn't even just the sound, their whole vibe was contagious. They had so much energy to go along with their funky, jazzy music. I asked the girl, who seemed to be with their crew after she handed the trumpeter some chapstick during a break, who this band was and where else they play. Over the music, I think I understood that they really don't have a technical line up of songs in order to be 'good enough' to play at some other location. I see it. These guys just want to play music. Play they do, they Jam. They're happy with the street, and it seems to me they really don't have any burning desire to make anything official (also apparent from their myspace page: Maybe one day they will. For now, they'll stick to the street Florida on Saturdays and give a gift wrapped with a big bow to anyone who will listen.

Loser Wins

These guys just up and set up shop in San Telmo next to this mini-garden. Hilarious that the one guy's shirt says Loser on it, but what a wonderful idea. I contemplated asking to take one of them on for a quick minute but decided not to interrupt directly and just snap photos instead. They asked me to send them the pictures.. Che, here you go.

Peron is definitely one of the controversial figures from Argentina's history. This quote loosely means: it's better to have less talk, more action, less promises, more action.


Meet Fredy. He was my homestay dad before I had to move because of logistics. His jolly laugh comes with this light in his eyes and absolutely makes my day. Born in the small province Esperanza, he studied law until one day he woke up. Law? Hell no, thank you. My passion is photos, he said to himself. Fredy has driven that dream ever since and what a beautiful photographer he is. I adored and adore him. Living with them for a whirlwind month, they are proud, loyal, creative, passionate, and hilarious people. Cecilia and Fredy met in the province of Santa Fe at 17, worked to live on a campo, and then had two beautiful children before moving to the Capital Federal. When they're together, I feel like they are two kids that share this huge secret that everyone wants to know about but no one can. Their creativity lights the fire, and their shared history leaves them inseparable. They opened their arms, their lives, and their hearts to me, especially Fredy. I'm sad I had to leave, but I'm so glad I was a part of that treasure, locked in time.

check out his photography blog:
check out his personal photography:

A Different World

Recoleta cemetery: most popularly known as the resting place of Evita Peron. Wandering there one frost-bitten morning, I was expecting a grassy cemetery with larger, more gaudy tombstones than what I was used to. Completely blown away when I arrived, I lost myself in the maze of coffins and cats creeping in the shadows. I didn't really comprehend the extent of the grandiose city until one day, when I was searching for a hostel for future visitors, this was my view from the hostel's top floor. Can you imagine waking up to this every morning? I knocked on the hostel door, not even cognizant of my location with respect to the mini-world, climbed five flights of stairs, and stumbled upon... Unreal.

Perrito Ladrónito

What a dog. "Ladrón de mi cerebro" literally translates to, robber of my mind.

Thanks to someone who read this and commented, I learned that "Ladrón de mi cerebro" is a song by a very popular Argentinean rock band called 'Patricio Rey y Sus Redonditos de Ricota.'

Capilla de Monte, Córdoba, Argentina.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Outside to Inside

If you step outside the carefully drawn tourist boundary in La Boca, you’re recognized as foreigner no matter how much you think you blend in with the background. I chose to be conspicuous and went wandering through the off streets. I passed a man working at the local market twice, and the second time he gave me the Argentine hand signal for ‘ojo’ (pulling down the skin under one eye with the index finger), meaning watch out. A woman passing by simultaneously turned to me, confirmed that I wasn’t from Boca in any way, and warned me to turn around. The neighborhood is addicting though because you sense it’s the roots where Buenos Aires was born. At least, I think so. There are extreme amounts of poverty in Argentina, around 40% live beneath the poverty line, and La Boca only begins to reveal the truth about a majority of this country. Without much, the neighborhood becomes their playground and theirs alone; with every step, I found an image behind my lens that said something so much deeper than its two-dimensional form. This girl intrigued me. Forlorn yet independent, she walked down the path. Her body language was one of a woman’s intimate with loss. Where was she going? What was she feeling? To what distant corners of her imagination was her mind taking her?

These people are proud of their culture, their lives, their barrio that has so little yet so much. They wait patiently behind the twinkling tourist zones either waiting to reclaim what’s theirs or content knowing what they have is so much more timeless than a over-priced picture with an overly done-up tango couple.

From the streets, I wandered over to Fundación Proa. Unbeknownst to me, it was opening night of a new art exhibit, “El Tiempo del Arte.” That means that all wealthy patrons with all their glitz & glam came to play. The contrast from where I just came from was staggering. Music played and the artsy citizens perused the book collections while sipping wine and snacking on cheese and crackers, waiting for the exhibit to officially open. I felt dizzy while trying to reconcile the two worlds. I sat next to Carlos: a comfortable companion and a solid Spanish practice session. He told me a little about his life before we went on our way. The exhibit explored the transformations of love/hate, power/daily life, life/death, and mind/body through five centuries of art. The result was powerful.

This piece burned this image onto my brain, done by León Ferrari in 1965. Ferrari is a contemporary conceptual Argentine artist. His art often deals with the subject of power and religion. This piece in particular, called "La civilización occidental y cristiana" (“Western-Christian Civilization”), blatantly comments on issues of United States influence and protests against the Vietnam War. Forced into exile from 1976 to 1991 because of the military dictatorships, Ferrari’s art speaks a truth that others cower from and sends a message that is equally if not more applicable today.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Love Spectrum

Argentines are loving. Although private in ways that their pride demands, the majority are openly affectionate and curious. I was soaking up the Spring Sun in Recoleta when I noticed these two love pairs doing the same. The daughter and mother played tag on the grass before settling down for some maternal hugging. The lone porteño watched until the light of his life arrived and whisked away his attention. Every person loves to be completely adored in public here, and no one else pays any mind. With a kiss to say hello & goodbye, Argentines know how to connect with each other and embrace affection. How liberating.. is it surprising the people here are so friendly? Both sides were one of many in the park that day, and both did not want to be anywhere else but in the arms of their loves.