June 12, 2021

Motionless trip to Buenos Aires, melancholy and vibrant

By Marie Godfrain

Posted today at 4:00 p.m.

Follow a native

While the activity of tour operators has collapsed since March 2020, the Tierra Latina agency has reinvented itself by offering a series of online activities, including live tours of Buenos Aires with Catalina, their French-speaking guide and tango dancer. An hour of video walk during which the Portègne (resident of Buenos Aires) offers an immersion in Plaza de Mayo, from where she tells the tragedy of the mothers and grandmothers of the Place de Mai, struggling to find the stolen children opponents of the military dictatorship, or a visit to the festive district of Palermo.

Surrender to the sound of the bandoneon

The Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) in concert in Amsterdam, in 1985.

Founding father of tango nuevo, Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) revolutionized this pivot of Argentine identity, by mixing it with American jazz influences and European classical music. A musical choice, but also a political one, to react to the conservatism of his country.

Read also On Arte.tv, a tango in Paris with Astor Piazzolla and Nadia Boulanger

It is also in Paris, where he lived, that the bandoneon player recorded one of his most famous works, Libertango (1974), composed and recorded in Milan, which perfectly sums up the state of mind of this brilliant iconoclast, whose compositions are regularly covered by young musicians.

Astor Piazzolla, Complete Tango!, Isabelle van Keulen Ensemble, Challenge Records International.

Feel the pain of exile

Argentina welcomed many exiles in the XXe century. One of them, Vicente Rosenberg, inspired his grandson, the writer Santiago H. Amigorena, The inner ghetto (P.O.L, 2019, 192 p., 18 €.), a work that tells the fate of this Polish Jew who emigrated to Argentina in 1928 after leaving his family behind. When war breaks out, he finds his Jewish friends, exiled like him, around a glass of rioja and a plate of cuttlefish rice while his mother and brother are locked in the Warsaw ghetto. His mother died in a concentration camp, leaving Vicente Rosenberg to a life drowned in melancholy. A story hailed by critics and awarded several prizes.

Sip a mate

Mate is one of the pillars of Argentinian gastronomy.

Mate, red wine and caramel sauce (“Milk jam”) are the pillars of Argentinian gastronomy … If you don’t want to taste them in Buenos Aires, you can always turn to the Gusto Argentino site, specialist in Argentinian flavors in Europe and owner of Café El Sur, located boulevard Saint-Germain, in Paris. Products to consume without feeling guilty, since Gonzalo Cruz, founder of this small empire of Argentinian gastronomy, has his caramel sauce in the north of France.

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