Immigration is one of the most contentious and divisive topics in the world, with migrant populations often finding themselves victims of suspicion and derision by their host nation. Sadly, Argentina is no different. While the immigrant population in Argentina is actually relatively low, xenophobia is still on the rise, particularly against those of Bolivian and Paraguayan origins.
Argentines need to check their privilege. Argentina’s complex relationship with immigrants belies its history as a country built on the back of mass immigration, starting in the nineteenth century and continuing through the twentieth and beyond. Many argentinos will proudly tell you about their international heritage at the slightest provocation, and many of the intrinsic aspects of porteño culture have been brought here from overseas.
While nationalism and economic concerns play a part in this suspicion of extranjeros, the rising xenophobia levels tap into a troubling international discourse. Brexit was a vote fuelled by hyperbole about immigration, and the “Orange One” refuses to acknowledge immigrants as people, instead dehumanizing them as “animals.” With the world’s eyes so firmly fixed on the immigration ‘problem,’ it becomes all to easy to absorb this hateful rhetoric.
El Centro Cultural Recoleta is aiming to change all this with ‘Inmigrantes Sí‘, a month-long event aimed at celebrating immigrant cultures and the way that they enrich Argentine culture. Events such as this a proactive way to combat the growing wave of resentment that immigrants face, instead reestablishing relationships of friendship and respect which disregard frontiers and reclaim international harmony in the face of those preaching division.
During May and June, they will be putting on activities led by artists from Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Senegal, the US, and many more, who have chosen to make Buenos Aires, and Argentina, their home. There are over 30 events on, including theater, dance, films, creative workshops, and shows, which are free for all ages to enjoy.
La música también es un viaje de melodías y ritmos entre países. ¡Mirá cómo se viven las nuevas rondas de baile del Recoleta! Fiestas, DJ y grupos musicales de artistas inmigrantes de diferentes países. . #InmigrantesSí . Próxima fecha: Domingo 20.05 | 19:30 hs | Cheikh Gueye y la Semilla + Tilsa. #Gratis
A full program of events can be found here and includes everything from hip-hop culture to exhibitions of work by artists and illustrators. However, here are our picks for shows not to be missed:
Bailando por el mundo: Sundays, 7.30PM, Villa Villa
Listen, no one likes Sunday evenings and that sinking feeling that precedes another week at work. Why not lift your spirits with ‘Bailando por el mundo’ (Dancing around the world), a series of shows with DJs and musical groups made up of immigrants from various different countries, playing all kinds of music including dance, latin rhythms, and electronic beats. Dance away your problems and start your week on a high, with music from the US, Colombia, and Senegal among others. For a full line up, click here.
Immigrants in Focus: Various dates, La Capilla & Plaza Francia
Cinema has long been a medium fascinated with immigration in all its forms and the stories behind it. In a special series, the CCR will be screening three films which all share immigration as a central theme, but through the perspective of different directors who explore the subject through different genres: comedy (The Other Side of Hope), documentary (Marea Humana) and an animated film (Persépolis). This series allows viewers to explore the multiple layers and interpretations available
For dates and locations, click here.
White Rabbit, Red Rabbit: Monday, May 30, 8PM, Villa Villa
More than just a play, White Rabbit, Red Rabbit is a theatrical experiment and global phenomenon. Created by the Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour, it has no directors, rehearsals, or set; the actor (in this case, Paraguay’s Nicolás García Hume) will open a sealed envelope containing the work, and will interpret it on the spot. The only rule? Don’t tell anyone what you saw and keep the mystery alive. Soleimanpour was denied a passport because he refused to national service and so he devised a play which could make his voice heard around the world. In the past it has been interpreted by big names including Nathan Lane, Whoopi Goldberg, and Alan Cumming, and is definitely one not to be missed. For more information, click here.
These are just a sample of some of the amazing events on celebrating the plurality of immigrant cultures and how the enrich Argentine culture. Be sure to check out the rest of the schedule and join in the celebrations.
Inmigrantes Sí | Centro Cultural Recoleta and various locations | Free entry | May and June | For more information, click here.