After an extremely volatile week in Argentina economically, politically, and socially, the weekend is here once again to offer us a brief, and much needed, respite. While the forecast does still appear to be cloudy (in every sense of the word), we have been offered at least the hope of some sunshine on Saturday — considering all the rain we’ve received in recent weeks, any sight of blue skies would be welcome.
From film series and art openings, to live music, museum tours, and markets, the cultural offerings in the city are as diverse as ever — and thankfully, almost everything is free.
FRIDAY, MAY 11TH
This will be the last weekend to visit Buenos Aires’ annual international book fair, colloquially known as La Feria del Libro. Now in its 44th year, the fair is quartered in Palermo’s immense convention center, La Rural, and this year’s rallying slogan is ‘Una ciudad, mil historias para contar’ (‘One city, a thousand stories to tell’). Over 250 book stands representing different publishers have set up the event, each stocked with lovely, new glossy editions. The city government has also organized a number of activities at the fair, including chats, readings, and live music. Admission is AR $120 (with discounts for retired persons and students), and the full event program can be found here.
2 – 11 PM | La Rural (Sarmiento 2704) | AR $120 | More info
A new exhibit by renowned Argentine illustrator Leandro Castelao will be opening in the Centro Cultural Recoleta (CCR) this evening. Titled ‘La unión suma,’ the exposition is part of the cultural center’s #InmigrantesSí (#YesToImmigrants) initiative, and speaks about the power of diversity and unity, as well as the strength to be found in plurality. Abstract and geometric, motifs like music, food, and maps can be found in Castelao’s colorful work. ‘La unión suma’ is located in the Sala L of the CCR, and admission to art exhibit is free.
6 PM | Centro Cultural Recoleta (Junín 1930) | Free | More info
The Museo Etnográfico ‘Juan B Ambrosetti’ is hosting a new film series this May. Titled África x África (Africa by Africa), the series consists of films that portray life on the African continent as seen and shot by African directors (or directors of African descent). Tonight’s installation will be Jimmy Goes to Nollywood — a documentary about Nigeria’s booming, yet little known, film industry. Filmed in Lagos, the documentary goes behind the scenes to show the inner workings of a business that churns out films faster than Hollywood. A presentation and debate will follow the screening, carried out by local specialists.
6 PM | Museo Etnográfico Juan B Ambrosetti (Moreno 350) | Free | More info
Buenos Aires’ Notable Bars (Bares Notables) will be opening their doors to a host of musicians this weekend. Presenting representatives from a wide range of genres, together they will bring their songs into the city’s historical bars and cafes. Tonight Nuria will be performing a selection of Spanish melodies in Almagro bar El Símbolo. Her repertoire includes pieces from artists like Alfredo Zitarrosa, Alberto Cortez, and Joan Manuel Serrat. Admission to the performances is entirely free, but subject to the capacity of the bar.
9 PM | El símbolo (Corrientes 3787) | Free | More info
SATURDAY, MAY 12TH
NATIONAL MONUMENT DAY
The second edition of El Día Nacional de los Monumentos will be returning to cities across Argentina this weekend. A government initiative directed at both Argentines and foreigners, the purpose of the event is to create consciousness about the country’s rich cultural heritage by providing education about the many monuments, museums, and parks that have played a part in Argentine history. The Bubble’s detailed breakdown of the key events in Buenos Aires can be found online here.
Times and locations vary | Free | More info
Organic market Sabe la Tierra (Taste the Earth) will set up in Plaza Güemes this afternoon. The event — organized by an NGO of the same name — advocates for responsible, conscious consumption, and direct exchange between producers and consumers. Besides being able to purchase organic fruits and vegetables on-site, market-goers can also indulge in something tasty to eat, and sit at one of the many communal tables provided by the organizers. In case of rain, the market will be cancelled — the next date is set for May 26th.
10 AM – 6 PM | Plaza Güemes (Charcas and Salguero) | Free | More info
Primer grado en tres países (First Grade in Three Countries) is a documentary by Argentine director by Mariana Lifschitz. As its name suggests, the film is an examination of first grade in public schools in three different countries — specifically, in Argentina, France, and Finland. Providing a unique insight into the way children are educated around the world, Lifschitz’s documentary raises important questions about what is prioritized in the education of future generations. The film will be screened at 3:50 PM in the Gaumont Cinema — tickets are AR $55.
3:50 PM | Cine Gaumont (Rivadavia 1635) | AR $55 | More info
SUNDAY, MAY 13TH
Buenos Aires Celebra will pay tribute to the Argentina’s Polish community at the intersection of Avenida de Mayo and Bolívar this afternoon. Boasting some twenty-odd stands, a variety of Polish delicacies will be available at the festival, including kielbasa (Polish sausage), cheese and sauerkraut stuffed pierogi, barsz (cabbage soup), and a wide selection of Polish sweets. Traditional arts and crafts will also be on sale, and Polish folk music and dance will be performed throughout the day. In case of rain the festival will be cancelled and rescheduled for the following 19th of May.
11 AM – 6 PM | Avenida de Mayo and Bolívar | Free | More info
The first edition of Cultura Bio will be held in Club Cultural Matienzo today. Created with the objective of making responsibly sourced, organic products more accessible to the public, the festival combines gastronomy with other diverse elements like ecologically friendly fashion and design. Various workshops will be conducted throughout the afternoon, including both free and low-cost activities. Cultura Bio will kick off at noon, and admission to the festival is free.
12 – 7 PM | Club Cultural Matienzo (Pringles 1249) | Free | More info
In commemoration of the 120th anniversary of bilateral relations between Argentina and Japan this year, the Centro Cultural de la Memoria Haroldo Conti will be hosting a wide range of Japanese cultural activities this weekend. From film and music, to dance and anime workshops, the scheduled offerings are quite diverse — and best of all, they’re free. This afternoon at 4:30 PM a presentation of traditional Japanese music and dance will take place, with performances from Mukaito Taiko, Ryuku Sapukai, Nikkei Chorus, and Ryuku Koku Matsuri Daiko. Get your tickets to the concert at the Conti’s box office anytime after 3:30 PM.
4:30 PM | Centro Cultural de la Memoria Haroldo Conti (Del Libertador 8151) | Free | More info
Casa Brandon’s second tertulia of the year will be taking place at 8 PM this evening. The music series, which is already several years old, was originally started to make classical music more accessible to the public, allowing the audience to enjoy quality performances from the comfort of an armchair, or the floor. This month’s edition will include a special combination of music and film — several original shorts will be jazzed up with live musical accompaniment. Arrangements for violin and piano will also be played, as well as pieces for clarinet, flute, cello, and bass. Admission to the tertulia is AR $120, and for an additional AR $200 participants can also enjoy dinner and drinks.
8 PM | Casa Brandon (Luis Maria Drago 236) | AR $120 | More info
Argentine singer-songwriter Mariana Bianchini will be presenting her fourth solo album Matrioska at the Usina del Arte this evening. Fusing her musical performance with theater, Bianchini’s show promises to be something different — a proposal that is every bit as visually appealing as it is musically and aurally. Accompanied by fellow musicians Lulo Isod, Cam Beszkin, Carolina Caratti, and Sergio Álvarez, Bianchini will take the audience on a journey through the nine songs on her new record. Tickets to the performance are free and can be picked up at the Usina del Arte’s box office at 6 PM.
8 PM | Usina del Arte (Caffarena 1) | Free | More info
The dates, times, and locations for each of these events reflect the information that was available at the time this edition of ‘What to Do in Buenos Aires this Weekend’ was published. The dates, times, and locations are subject to change at the event organizers’ discretion. For the most up to date information, click on the ‘More info’ link when it is listed under the event summary. If you have an event you would like to include in this column, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.