Friday, July 29, 2011

Teatro Colon


Visited the 'other' Evita Museum on Avenida de Mayo...this one dubbed El Museo Evita del Pueblo and managed by the working people who deify her. It's mostly photos but interesting nonetheless. One thinks about what a mess the right made of this country when they threw out Peron (they bombed the Plaza de Mayo during a public rally, killing mostly children). Whatever you think of the Perons and Peronism, it's obvious it was the only chance the people/working class had and it's the reason Peronism survived, despite all the dictatorships that tried to eradicate it for 35 years, and why it's in power in now.

We found another burrito place and this one is much better than California Burrito Co. which is overpriced and not very good. (Cal Burr Co. was started by three postgrad american entrepreneurs). This one is owned by an Argentine and his wife who is from Juarez, Mexico and her authenticity comes thru. The burritos are smaller here, but their guacamole was great as were the beans and veggies. And I just miss burritos so much!

La Vida Belgrano

We saw Verdi's 'Simon Boccanegra' at Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires' premier theater, built in grand style between 1880-1908. It really is an incredible building and this was a great experience. It's all thanks to Ezequiel's roommate Pablo who is the vestuarista (he creates the costumes for the ballet and opera at Teatro Colon). Eze and his friends are an impressive and talented group of people and I feel so lucky to have connected with all of them.

Below is one of the weird hobbit-like restaurants that are inspired by 'duendes' or earth spirits (the elvin, dwarf types, so it's very Euro-inspired). They always have artesanal beer which is nice.


True dat :)

We visited ESMA, which is now a human rights center and memorial as it was formerly the central interrogation and torture site of the military dictatorship. It's an enormous campus, like a university, and being that 30,000 people disappeared between 1976-1983, it's kind of mind-boggling to take it all in and feel it beyond the abstractions

The saddest part...the 500 children who were born to prisoners and adopted out to military families. Close to 400 have now had their DNA tested and reconnected with their previous families, which has got to be a very strange experience as the people they were raised by were allied with the people who killed their parents.
Below, the always disturbing Catholic collusion. Chile's archbishop resisted Pinochet--not so here, the archbishop was on the payroll

The art here was really good...Below is a dismantled Falcons were the vehicle the secret police used when they came to your house to take you away, most likely never to be seen again. People lived in fear as the kidnappings were often random. The dictatorship basically carried out a political genocide of the left.

Josefina Castro
"Mis Morochos"

Cristian Lopez Rey
The below are all part of the really interesting allegorical painting, "Camino a Hamelin"


Maria Ximena Inesta

Alejandor Moreyra
"Dragon Latinoamericano"

Cataline Scoppa
"Serie NN"

Rocio Vidal

Emmanuel Florance Chaplin
“Gris Urbano”

Below is an election bus of the Peronist left....all the characters of Argentine history are depicted from Che to Mercedes was the single cheerful thing on the ESMA campus

A funny sticker on the subway--with a message, and a sad reminder of the political cynicism here

Another high point on this trip came via the artist Xul Solar....his work is really unique and beautiful and inspired me a lot and reminded me again that it's art and nature and crazy little kids and love that keep me going...and burritos! :)

The lovely Cafe Roma with one of its 80-yr-old waiters at the espresso machine

These memorial tiles are all over the city marking the addresses where people lived who were disappeared by the dictatorship. There are similar tiles in Santiago and I think it's a great idea because it reminds people as they go about their business...never forget, or Nunca Mas as they say here

A final cafe con leche with Steven in Bar El Federal in San Telmo. Stephen lent me a cell phone for my 6 months down here which was really helpful and saved me the hassle of the whole cell phone nightmare we all know so well.

It's really cold again and there are homeless kids on the subway, one sniffing glue out of a bag. It's horrible to see kids living like that but the govt. here can't get it together to get them off the street. Someone told me that even for adults, welfare is $150/mo. That's $40. At the opera last night, the sheer volume of furs was staggering...I saw a lot them today too...there's something really brutal and ugly about a fur coat -- the death of an animal and a really bold in-your-face reminder that some people here have a lot and others don't. And yet it's always on some old lady who looks more or less harmless. I had a vision of all the little old ladies pulling off their furs and giving them to the homeless urchins who'd be dragging them on the ground behind them, they're so enormous. It could happen.

It's so cold, the poor little guy was shaking

The journey winds down, my how it's flown. I'm sitting in the airport now with Ezequiel who has been such a sweet good friend, and I'm feeling very grateful for's a beautiful song to better express that .... written by a Chilean, Violeta Parra, and sung by an Argentine, Mercedes Sosa....

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