Tag Archive | "buenos aires"

Buenos Aires Approves Relocation of Columbus Monument

The Christopher Columbus statue used to stand behind the Casa Rosada (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

The Christopher Columbus statue used to stand behind the Casa Rosada (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

After months of debate, Buenos Aires’ city legislature has approved the removal of the Christopher Columbus monument from behind the Casa Rosada to a new location on Costanera Norte, close to Aeroparque. Yesterday, a group of PRO legislators joined with Frente para la Victoria to pass the measure, with 41 in favour, eight against.

The monument’s new home is at the Puerto Argentino breakwater, a location that “brings together symbolic characteristics, such as the proximity to the Río de la Plata and the orientation towards the old continent; and fulfils the appropriate characteristics for restoration and conservation of the sculpture”, according to the law.

The monument was a donation from the Italian community to the Argentine people at the start of the 20th century. Created by Italian sculptor Arnaldo Zocchi and made out of two different types of marble, it was completed in 1921 and has since remained in Plaza Colón (Columbus Place). But the location of the statue has always been a subject of debate, and last year president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner unveiled a plan to remove the statue from behind the government house and relocate it to Mar del Plata, on the Atlantic coast, and work began to dismantle the monument. However, the Buenos Aires city government opposed the measure, saying the statue is part of the capital’s heritage, belongs to the city. The monument, which has already been dismantled, has remained in pieces in Plaza Colón whilst the case was resolved.

Weighing over 600 tonnes and standing at 26 metres, the monument will be relocated in 30 to 40 separate trips over the coming weeks. The move is expected to cost around $25m due to the reinforcements needed to the new location to stop the statue from sinking.

Replacing Columbus behind the Casa Rosada is a bronze statue of Juana Azurduy, a guerrilla military leader born in 1780 in Sucre, Bolivia, who fought for the independence of Argentina and Bolivia alongside her husband Manuel Ascencio Padilla. Created by sculptor Andrés Zerneri, the statue has been completed and is rumoured to be unveiled on 12th October, the anniversary of the day that marks Columbus’ arrival to the Americas.

Posted in News From Argentina, Round Ups ArgentinaComments (0)

Tourist with GoPro Records Attempted Armed Robbery in La Boca

A tourist wearing a GoPro camera has captured the dramatic moments when a man attempted to rob him at gunpoint in Buenos Aires.

Canadian Alexander Hennessy was travelling through the neighbourhood of La Boca in broad daylight on a bike tour when a man on a motorbike intercepted him and demanded he hand over his backpack.

Hennessy did not understand the man’s Spanish, and tried to get away, but the man pursued him on foot and threatened him with a gun. Eventually, after others came to help, Hennessy was able to run away and alert a police officer nearby.

The whole incident was recorded on Hennessy’s GoPro camera, which he had fixed onto his helmet.

It was uploaded onto You Tube yesterday with the description: “I was on a bike tour in a rough part of Buenos Aires (Argentina) in broad daylight when a thief attempted to steal my camera gear at gunpoint. I miraculously happened to be recording with a gopro on my forehead and captured this amazing piece of footage!”

Hennessey is in Argentina with a friend as part of a ‘Global Degree’ challenge to visit 195 countries in 60 months, and film the whole experience.

According to Global Degree’s Facebook page, the footage from La Boca was handed over to police, who apprehended the assailant the same day.

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Things You Learn When You Live In Argentina

¿Querés leerla en castellano? ¡Podés hacerlo acá!

If, by virtue of charity or the circumstance of desperation, you ever chance to live a little time in Argentina, you will acquire many exotic new facts. You will learn that it is possible, and economically-advantageous, to walk 15 large dogs simultaneously. You will learn that you were never really eating ice cream before, just frozen, flavoured milkstuff. You will learn that it’s OK for Christmas decorations to stay up until Easter.

Buenos Aires at night (photo: Federico Ratier)

Buenos Aires at night (photo: Federico Ratier)

You will learn that socio-economic crisis is Argentina’s default setting and that things are never as bad as some people make out. That expectations of public toilets must always be low. That not everyone tangoes, in fact only a small minority do. That every foreign sub-editor will at some time in his or her life use a variation of the phrase ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ to title an article about Argentine politics/football/whatever.

That the most enjoyable aspect of going to a polo game is telling people that you’re going to a polo game, and that polo as a spectator sport is up there with golf and squash. That the standard way to show your unrelenting passion for your football team (though probably not your polo team) is by jumping up and down on the spot for an unlimited period of time, and that not jumping is a sure sign of Englishness.

That long-distance coach travel at first seems more luxurious than what you’re used to, and aeroplane-like and kind of kitschy, what with the coach driver’s mate pulling on white gloves to serve you a glass of sherry by way of aperitif, but after any amount of repetition becomes an intolerable nightmare of cramped legs and bad films. That films on coaches get worse the further north you go, subcontinentally-speaking. That long-distance journeys overland look far more enticing on the map than in their endless fields-of-soy reality. That on long-distance journeys both tedium and time itself can be reduced significantly by the power of mate.

That cold pizza and mate make an acceptable breakfast under certain circumstances. That the locals will always find it remarkable that any non-Argentine should drink mate, that the drinking of mate automatically makes a non-Argentine Argentine to all effects and purposes, and that no matter how Argentine the non-Argentine is now deemed to be, the Argentine will always be dubious as to the non-Argentine’s expertise re: the making of mate.

Mate can be the answer to many things.

Mate can be the answer to many things (photo: Beatrice Murch)

That sándwiches de miga are pretty much the same everywhere you go in Argentine territory, as if mass-produced by some huge as yet undiscovered underground sandwich factory, and that the locals are terribly enthusiastic about said sandwiches. That it is often considered rude to take your shoes off in other people’s homes. That it is a widely-held belief that any dish or foodstuff can be improved with the addition of ham and cheese. That writing stuff about being an expat in Buenos Aires gets kind of repetitive and fernet-and-dulce pretty quickly. That at first the whole sobremesa thing will come across as both exotic and real and then eventually kind of dull and finally make you pine for solitude and whatever’s on TV.

That there is generally nothing on national TV, but then at the same time that there is so very much on national TV, if you are possessed of a heightened sense of irony.

That self-medication is not a problem. That once you get over all the bullshit about how many psychoanalysts there are per capita in Buenos Aires, psychoanalysis can be wonderful thing. That the cancellation of internet/cable/phone services is usually the quickest and most effective way of getting the internet/cable/phone provider to fix whatever they were supposed to fix three months ago, and that the phrase ‘doy de baja el servicio‘ is the first phrase they should teach you in those intensive Spanish class, along with ‘tengo un novio‘, if you’re a woman. That it is impossible to cross the Av 9 de Julio on foot in one go and that you should stop trying. That secondary qualities such as avenue width can be used as a tourist draw.

That if nothing else, Argentina is water-rich, and that this might come in useful one day, and that the day when being water-rich becomes a useful thing, Argentina will somehow manage to screw up this once in a lifetime opportunity.

That listening to Aspen Classic for any length of time will inevitably lead to all kinds of reminiscences and embarrassing memories of your teenage self. That this is the only country in the world where Rick Astley can play in, if not sell out, a 3,200-seater venue by himself, and that none of the locals will find this particularly odd. That Creedence Clearwater never needed a Revival.

That The Simpsons is pretty much an Argentine institution, and that it sounds better in Spanish, primarily because of the Mexican guy who voices Homero. That the locals bemoan the incursion of American culture and that The Nanny was for a long time the most-watched TV show in the country. That some people get really wound up if you say ‘American’ instead of ‘US’ and that the same people then use the term ‘North American’ with complete disregard for Mexicans. That the average social class and education level of the average McDonald’s user is considerably higher than back home, and some even wear suits.

That winter lasts a week, really, and that you never knew it was possible to get tired of summer. That hyperbole and summertime temperatures are happy bedfellows. That sweating is something you learn to accept rather than combat.

That ‘pelotudo’ is a way, way more offensive term than ‘boludo’, despite their near-identical, big-balled etymologies, and that you can only find this out the hard way. That a surprising number of shopkeepers would rather lose one peso than give you nine pesos in change. That the half-a-kilo-of-meat-per-person asado rule-of-thumb is nearly always a gross overestimation. That eating choripán from roadside stands in insalubrious areas is fine, health-wise, but not recommendable psychosomatically speaking, and it’s often actually the chimichurri that does you in.

Go on, they are fine to eat... (Photo: Irena)

Go on, they are fine to eat, probably… (Photo: Irena)

That clubs don’t really get going until 3am, even on a week night, and that a large swathe of the under-30s survive on pretty much no sleep whatsoever. That ‘torta’ (‘cake’) is a non-offensive slang term for ‘lesbian’ and that no lesbian can tell you why this is. That this is a country forward-thinking enough to legalise same-sex marriage but still backwards enough to continue outlawing abortion under practically any circumstances. That there tend to be more Argentine women marrying foreign men than foreign women marrying Argentine men, and that you think this might say a lot about the failings of Argentine men but would prefer to sidestep any controversy.

That a disappointingly high number of Argentines will take offence at this innocent article, which is more about the narrow experience of an expat in Buenos Aires than Argentina itself, and let their country down in the comments. That no matter how much you love Argentina, you will eventually leave it for a country with a higher GDP and more developed attitudes towards litter, and then pine for Argentina at various unexpected moments for the rest of your life, but that if you stay you’ll always wonder what might have been, if you hadn’t been chicken.

Want to read more from Daniel Tunnard? Then we recommend his book about taking all the buses in Buenos Aires, ‘Colectivaizeishon, el inglés que tomó todos los colectivos en Buenos Aires’, available at all good bookshops in Buenos Aires, Mercado Libre, or by contacting the author.

Posted in Expat, Life & Style, The City, TOP STORYComments (10)

Macri Says Federal Police to Stay in Buenos Aires

Argentine Federal Police (photo: wikipedia)

Argentine Federal Police (photo: wikipedia)

Buenos Aires mayor Mauricio Macri said today that he had reached an agreement with President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner to keep the Federal Police operating in all parts of the capital.

The announcement came just days after Security Secretary Sergio Berni ordered the withdrawal of 5,000 Federal Police officers from neighbourhoods in the City of Buenos Aires where the Metropolitan Police are already operating.

The neighbourhoods in question are: Saavedra, Coghlan, Villa Urquiza, Villa Pueyrredón (Comuna 12), Nueva Pompeya, Parque Patricios, Barracas, La Boca (Comuna 4), Agronomía, Chacarita, Villa Crespo, Paternal, and Villa Ortúzar (Comuna 15).

“They are not leaving,” Macri said in a radio interview this morning, adding that he spoke with the president on Friday. “We reached a joint commitment to coordinate work in those comunas, and a commitment to start a dialogue to analyse how to implement a transfer. We think this will take some time.”

After Berni’s announcement last week, sources from the Metropolitan Police had claimed that around 4,800 officers were there to “collaborate with federal forces”, but that they do not have enough agents or cars to replace the Federal Police entirely.

According to information from the Security Ministry, there are 9,000 Federal Police officers working in the City of Buenos Aires, distributed among 53 precincts.

Posted in News From Argentina, Round Ups ArgentinaComments (0)

Marches, Roadblocks Cause Transport Chaos Ahead of General Strike

Coastguard officers look on as the opposition CTA union stages a roadblock on Puente Pueyrredón (Photo: Paula Riba/Télam/ddc)

Coastguard officers look on as the opposition CTA union stages a roadblock on Puente Pueyrredón (Photo: Paula Ribas/Télam/ddc)

A series of roadblocks and marches have caused transport chaos today in parts of Buenos Aires and its surrounding areas. The disruption comes a day before several major unions hold a 24-hour general strike, which is set to cause further headaches for commuters on Thursday.

The opposition faction of Central for Argentina Workers (CTA) umbrella union, which began an extended 36-hour strike at midday today, organised roadblocks on major highways and key access points to the capital this morning.

Some of these since been lifted, though pickets remain on Av General Paz, and the Ricchieri highway, causing delays in travel to Ezeiza airport.

The opposition CTA leadership, headed by Pablo Micheli will lead a demonstration in front of the National Congress this afternoon. The demands of the union include scrapping income taxes on salaries, an end to the dismissal of workers at industrial factories, and the suspension of external debt payments pending an audit to determine the its legitimacy.

Meanwhile, two separate protests aimed at the Buenos Aires government today have added to the transport disruption in the centre of the city. The Federation of Cartoneros and Recyclers marched to the City Ministry for Environment and Public Spaces to protest against proposed changes to rubbish collection.

At the same time, social organisations and residents of Villa Lugano have gathered on Av 9 de Julio near the Obelisco in protest at the razing of the Barrio Papa Francisco slum on the weekend.

General Strike

Wednesday’s chaos comes just hours before the start of a 24 hour general strike held by opposition factions of the General Workers Confederation (CGT) led by Hugo Moyano and Luis Barrionuevo.

The strike will heavily affect transport, with all services on overground trains, the subte B line, and domestic flights suspended. Buses will be running a partial service: the Road Transport Union (UTA) – which governs the majority of urban and intercity bus lines – has decided not the join the strike, but the rival Bus Drivers Union (UCRA) has said it will, and could disrupt other services. Taxi drivers will be working.

Other services to be suspended include non-emergency treatment at hospitals, rubbish collection (this evening), banks, petrol stations, postal services, and affiliated bars and restaurants. Many schools in the city and province of Buenos Aires will also be closed as several teachers’ unions join the strike action.

For more information and updates of the strike and how it will affect you tomorrow, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

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Hundreds Protest Closure of Buenos Aires Cultural Spaces

Hundreds joined yesterday's protest, supported by numerous musicians and artists (photo courtesy of La Cultura no se Clausura)

Hundreds joined yesterday’s protest, supported by numerous musicians and artists (photo courtesy of La Cultura no se Clausura)

Under the slogan ‘Culture is not for Closure‘, dozens of artists, organisations, and cultural spaces protested in front of the Buenos Aires city government’s Ministry of Culture on Av. de Mayo yesterday evening. The demonstrators accompanied their manifestation with live music, street theatre, art, and dancing.

The protest came in response to an increasing number of closures of cultural spaces by the city government, with 20 being closed down in the past three weeks alone.

Protestors have labelled the closures “political persecution against those who propose alternative culture” and yesterday lobbied legislators to move forward with the approval of a law to recognise independent cultural centres and spaces, which are not recognised under current city legislation.

As a result of the legal vacuum, many of the cultural spaces operate with licences as social clubs, cafes/bars, or theatres, which can lead to fines and closures of the space or its activities.

A member of a cooperative who last year ran ‘El Café de los Patriotas’, which was closed down by the authorities, explained to Telám that the cultural space, located in Paternal, used to “organise film projections, political debates, and a variety of free workshops, and the aim was not a commercial one, but one of generated popular culture.”

The new law, which is being propelled by the Movement for Cultural Spaces (MECA) and has already received more than 40,000 signatures supporting the bill, proposes: Recognition of the existence of Art Residencies, Social and Neighbourhood Clubs, Cultural Centres, and Cultural Clubs; Adaptation of the legal requirements to the necessities of these independent spaces; Speeding up the paperwork necessary for new cultural spaces to be run legally; Giving non-profit organisations the option of processing the paperwork for free, among other things.

Posted in News From Argentina, Round Ups ArgentinaComments (1)

Buenos Aires Teachers’ Strike Enters Second Day

A school in La Plata warns parents about the strike (photo: Carlos Cermele/Télam/lz)

A school in La Plata warns parents about the strike (photo: Carlos Cermele/Télam/lz)

Teachers in Buenos Aires province entered the second day of a 48-hour strike that began with the new school term on Monday. According to estimates by the Federation of Buenos Aires Educators, 98% of teachers participated in the strike yesterday.

Teachers are demanding improvements in wages and school infrastructure, as they consider that the agreements reached at the beginning of the year between the unions and the government are not being fulfilled. On this point, Roberto Baradel, Secretary General of teachers’ union Suteba, said: “The wage increase we agreed on was carried out in two stages and what we ask is that the monitoring clause be applied and the commission we agreed on during wage negotiations be formed. We consider that the first stage of the increase was eroded over various [monthly] wages.”

Baradel also pointed out that: “Among the points in the agreement that put an end to the 17-day strike in March, there were investments in infrastructure, improvements in school cafeterias, and the regularisation of our health insurance, and none of this has been resolved.”

Buenos Aires governor Daniel Scioli agreed to meet with union representatives tomorrow at the Labour Ministry, and in return the teachers confirmed the strike will end today. However, they warned they could go on strike again if an agreement is not reached.

The government has agreed to discussing issues such as infrastructure investments in tomorrow’s meeting, however Cabinet Chief Alberto Pérez clarified that “wage issues will not be discussed, because that’s already been sorted for the 2014 term.” It has also been suggested that teachers that joined the strike could have the missed days discounted from their monthly wage – a discount of between $360 and $800.

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Shops Fined for Charging Customers to Top Up SUBE Cards

SUBE card (photo: Wikipedia)

SUBE card (photo: Wikipedia)

Over 120 shops and kiosks in Buenos Aires face sanctions for illegally charging customers extra when topping up SUBE cards or mobile phone credit.

The report came after The Office of Consumer Protection carried out inspections in various neighbourhoods of the capital in May.

According to city laws, customers have the right to access these services from licensed establishments with paying any additional surcharge or being obliged to purchase other goods at the shop. Every establishment must also display a sign that informs customers of these rights.

According to city government Cabinet Chief Horacio Rodríguez Larreta: “locals can report shops that abusing the law at a local government office or call 147 for support.”

Further inspections are set to be carried out in other parts of the city, and offending establishment could face fines of between $500 and $500,000.



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Workers’ Conflict Continues at Gestamp Auto Parts Factory

Gestamp workers speak outside the factory earlier today (photo: Gestamp union press)

Gestamp workers speak outside the factory earlier today (photo: Gestamp union press)

A conflict between workers and the Gestamp auto parts company continued without a resolution today, despite a mandatory conciliation issued by the Buenos Aires provincial government.

The dispute began last week after nine workers that were among 67 laid off by the company occupied the plant in Escobar, north of Buenos Aires, blocking operations. On Saturday, the provincial Labour Ministry ordered a conciliation for 15 days to end the protests and reincorporate the workers while negotiations can continue to reach a permanent solution.

The agreement, signed by Gestamp and the workers, was set to come into force today, but workers say the company is still not letting them enter the factory for reasons of “health and safety”. However, workers accused the company of failing to comply with the order, and maintaining an illegal “lock out”.

“The company told us that there would be no production today because they are supposedly sorting out the machinery,” said one of the nine protesters, Roberto Amador. “We don’t believe them – they had all weekend to do that. The company is manoeuvring to not comply with the mandatory conciliation.”

The workers’ protest has been supported by various social organisations and leftist political parties, though also drew criticism from other quarters.

Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich said this morning that “political actions or illegal measures prevent an industry from functioning.” The conflict has disrupted production at major auto plants – including Volkswagen, Ford and Peugeot-Citroën – that have not received parts from Gestamp.

On Saturday, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner urged the provincial government to act to bring an end to the dispute, adding that workers do not defend their jobs by “occupying or damaging factories.”

There was also criticism from the Union of Mechanics and Auto Sector Workers (SMATA), which has declared itself in a state of “alert and mobilisation”. SMATA leader Ricardo Pignanelli said the protest was backed by political parties Partido Obrero (PO) and Partido de los Trabajadores Socialistas (PTS), and threatened the jobs of hundreds of other workers.

Amador rejected these claims today, saying Pignanelli was a “serial liar”. Speaking about the occupation, Amador added that: “We showed the company, SMATA, and the provincial and national governments that the workers’ struggle will triumph over all of those who want to bear the burden of the crisis.”


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Rap in Buenos Aires: The Golden Age of the Masters of Ceremony

This article was originally published in Hecho en Buenos Aires.

In every corner of Buenos Aires and its metropolitan area, rap culture thrives. Manuel Cullen heard the flood of rhymes they produced, saw the biggest rappers in the area, and learned that, when push comes to shove, it’s not not about cumbia or rock, but rap. They’re self-managed, they record, and boy, do they make culture.

Conección Real

Conección Real (photo courtesy of Hecho en Bs As)

Hip hop is everywhere. On the city’s trains, plazas, and streets. It bleeds through the walls that surround the rail tracks and explodes on the cars of the six subte lines. The culture that emerged at the Bronx in the ’70s, today is more visible than ever in Buenos Aires. Freestyling competitions sponsored by energy drinks go side by side with self-managed encounters carried out in parks that have nothing to envy the former in terms of prestige and popularity.

When it comes to expressing themselves, thousands of kids from the Greater Buenos Aires don’t choose rock or cumbia. They choose rap. Rhymes enter our televisions in the shape of ads or soft news. But the phenomenon is, above all, a source of great records that are worth listening to (and downloaded) carefully.

Living the Dream

Just in 2013 and the beginning of 2014, over 30 albums of the genre were edited in Buenos Aires. Most artists record them, mix them, and share them on social networks. The most widely used are Facebook, YouTube, and MediaFire. A handful of them were also released on physical formats. One of them is ‘Viviendo el Sueño’ (‘Living the Dream’) by the duo Kraneando Actividad, where Sudaca’s elaborated beats complement the sharp lyrics and plays on words of MC Antuzapien.

The rapper, born in San Martín de los Andes, Neuquén province, and resident of Buenos Aires, explains: “I think what we enjoyed most about this album was the production, we did everything we wanted: we invited great MCs, musicians, DJs. It was mixed by a great friend of ours at the DES studios.” Antu refers to the production company that Kraneando put together to work on their projects and those of other artists. A constant in the local scene is the proliferation of recording studios where rappers can rehearse and record their rhymes. Many of them are located in a teenager’s bedroom, a laundry room, or another useful corner.

Núcleo aka TintaSucia

Núcleo aka TintaSucia (photo courtesy of Hecho en Bs As)

The Interap

Sebastián Muñoz, Chilean sociologist who crossed the Andes to study the local rap scene and film the documentary ‘Buenos Aires Rap‘ -which opened at Bafici last month- thinks that cheaper access to technology (such as computers to record and edit music, and HD cameras) and an increase in the use of the internet (which makes distribution and access to music and audiovisual information easier, and allows for national and international contact between rappers) both contributed to the growth of the rap scene.

And he adds: “Then, there’s an internal ‘maturing’ of hip hop, musically and socially. Little by little, a more extended recognition criteria is starting to take hold, centred more around quality than belonging to a certain crew. These elements allow for the development of projects that are more autonomous and sustainable, less dependent on external agents (decisions by record labels, managers, TV shows).” In fact, labels, when they exist, are just that: a label, a rubber stamp created by the artists, not an external structure for production, distribution, and circulation.

Antuzapien explains it: “Self-managent has to do with the artist. In our case, it was a choice, we had opportunities and offers to edit our album through a label and we decided to take on the responsibility and the cost ourselves, we didn’t want anyone else to take credit for doing nothing, because that’s what they offer: nothing.”

Natural Connection

In order to distribute physical copies, they used the contacts they’d made through concerts around the country, and downloads are free through sudacaezeiza.wix.com.

Kris Alaniz

Kris Alaniz (photo courtesy of Hecho en Bs As)

One of the latest albums to see the light on social networks, on 5th May to be precise, was the excellent ‘Conexión Natural’ (‘Natural Connection’) by Kris Alaniz. On it, the rapper, musician, and beatmaker combines her love for rap with other genres such as bossa nova and soul. The album was recorded at Buena Madera, a studio in Monte Grande, Buenos Aires province, while she still lived in Córdoba, and it includes guest appearances by Buenos Aires rappers such as Viajeros Krew, Tortu. Cno, and Under, among others.

“I think the name defines the album, because it was made with friends, because it has an environmental theme, and it tries to open people’s minds with its commitment to earth, to nature. The gestation period was tough for me, because I was going through a process of finding myself and the people around me, but in the end, that entails opening your mind and seeing the positive side in bad things, and, above all, it was my introduction to Buenos Aires, it’s important to me,” she explains. The album can be found in her Facebook.

On the subject of recording studios that have popped over the last few years, it’s impossible not to mention ‘El Triángulo’ (‘The Triangle’). In that one key location in a poor neighbourhood in Berazategui, 12 albums were recorded in 2013. One of the most downloaded was ‘3.0’ by Núcleo aka TintaSucia, the brains behind the studio and leader of La Conección Real.

Talking about the content of the collaboration with DJ Destroy Arms and young beatmaker from Fuerte Apache, DJ Pela (available here), the rapper says: “It’s hard to define, it’s quite varied, I’m talking about the themes and the content; a large part of it is quite purist, it’s about keeping the essence of hip hop, but it’s also about fighting, not giving up, and not surrendering to problems and difficulties and moving on. I talk to the people, from my little spot I would like to be the voice of the people, to represent the common man who fights for what he loves. I don’t like to get trapped within a certain culture, so to speak, and with age comes experience and more directions to go with my music.”

It’s Time

For Núcleo, rap is going through a crucial stage. “It’s a golden age, just before it becomes commercial, where it’s still raw, it’s out on the streets, no one quite makes a living out of this and that gives it a unique flavour,” he says.

Kris Alaniz adds: “The scene is about to explode, the people who are just beginning have an amazing level, which we didn’t have when we began. I love walking through the streets of Buenos Aires, hear music blaring out of the stereos of cars and realise it’s my friends singing, it gives me goose bumps. You can breathe hip hop here, in every neighbourhood I visit this culture is alive; we still need to change a lot of things, improve some others, but the path is there, we just have to walk it, like we’ve been doing for years, without giving up.”

Antu is a bit more sceptic: “The rap scene is weird; at times, it seems great, like everything is happening, but on the other hand, you want to crawl underground. I think we’re going through a very nice growth period and we’re laying the foundation for those coming behind us, but there’s still a lot of work to do.” He then adds, hopeful: “Today, I walk down the street and everything is hip hop everywhere. Around the corner from my work there is a primary school, out of ten kids, three are freestyling or doing beatbox. There’s a lot of work to do still, but clearly Argentina is putting its hand up.”


Hecho en Buenos Aires LogoHecho en Bs As is a magazine sold by unemployed and homeless people. Vendors buy copies for $5 and sell them for $15. Since we launched in 2000, we have helped more than 3000 people regain control of their lives. Hecho en Bs As is an independent and challenging publication, with exclusive interviews and current affairs articles. Vendors undergo an induction process and sign up to a code of conduct. Hecho en Bs As is a business solution to a social problem.


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