I’ve taken to carrying my camera with me whenever I’m outdoors in Buenos Aires so I can take pictures of interesting, creative, and unusual images and experiences. Along my travels I’ve taken photos of lots of graffiti or street art. Two distinctly different types of street art have surfaced in my collection, political and non-political or more decorative works. I’ve come across both types throughout the city, the nearby suburb of Quilmes, and across the Rio de la Plata in Colonia de Sacramento, Uruguay, and in BA’s barrios, including Boedo, San Telmo, La Boca, Barrio Chino, and Parque Patricios. Colorful, abstract and concrete, these include some samples of traditional tagging, along with others where the street artists make the brick walls and doors their (and our) canvases. Scroll over the slideshows to pause, advance or return back to a previous photo.
The political graffiti reflects local and universal themes of peace not war; celebrating public education; free, legal and safe abortions; the power of the community; demands of justice for the Once train wreck tragedy of February, 2012 in which 51 people died, and “Justice, justice, justice” in the city of Ushuaia at the very southern tip of the south American continent.
Some street art keeps alive the symbols and memories of the painful dictatorship Argentina suffered during the Dirty War (1973-81) when injustice thrived and the young, the activists, and children were taken from their homes, tortured, traded, or thrown into the river to their death.
One such symbol of the justice seekers is the white head scarves of the Mothers de la Desaparecidos, the Mothers of the Disappeared, who marched and still march each week in silent protest to honor the more than 30, 000 Argentines, young and old, who were murdered by the terrorist state, military-led government.
A moving tile-inlaid square of glass and concrete sculpture along a San Telmo sidewalk keeps live the memory of local activist Guiller Moler, who was disappeared and detained by the military on June 24, 1978. “Neighborhood, memory and justice,” is written.
Children’s rights are everyone’s responsibility.
These stenciled busts of Eva Peron and President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner line the pavement outside the famous Pink House, the Casa Rosada.
Demanding justice for those responsible for the negligence that led to the Feb. 2012 train derailment tragedy at the Once train station, at a march on the 1-yr anniversary of the Once tragedy.
These photos are just the tip of the graffiti iceberg, so to speak. A group of street artists and activists who are a part of graffitimundo.com (graffiti world) have been creating and showcasing various examples of murals and street art they’ve found all over the city. Committed to documenting the origins of the graffiti and street art scenes in Buenos Aires, they are in the process of completing work on a feature length documentary entitled “White Walls Say Nothing”. They also offer bike tours of BA street art, indoor exhibitions in pop-up spaces in London, Washington, DC. Having learned about them just as I was leaving Buenos Aires this summer, I have yet to take one of their walking or biking tours, but they will certainly be part of my BA agenda for 2014! Follow my blog to get the latest updates.
Stay tuned for my next post on what your 2-week visit to Buenos Aires might look like. See what four friends and I did during their visit to Argentina in February of 2013!