What’s your belief system of choice? Horoscopes, multiple gods and goddesses, one god, luck, karma, nihilism, science? All of the above? None of the above? No matter the answer, you’re likely to find some like-minded people at Yo Creo, a two-month long celebration of the diversity of beliefs in Argentina hosted at one of BA’s most buzzing cultural centers, El Recoleta. The agenda is avant garde and jam-packed. We’re here to help you sort through it.
The event, hosted by the Centro Cultural Recoleta, brings together writers, painters, philosophers, astrologers, and musicians. All of them have prepared art that will speak to the question at the core of Yo Creo, and life in general: what does it mean to be alive, and what is the point of all of this?
That may sound kind of heavy, but there’s a little something for everyone on the calendar: the philosophical type, the make-your-own-anything enthusiasts, the I-just-want-to-listen-to-electronic-music-and dance folks. There are lectures, performances, workshops, trade fairs, fiestas, and more.
There is also an additional, lighter purpose to Yo Creo: to simply find the beauty in the spectrum of spiritual beliefs that exist, and reaffirm el Recoleta as a place of exchange for all of these different belief systems. Luciana Blasco, the Secretary of Cultural Policies and New Audiences for the City of Buenos Aires, said it best: “[Yo Creo] has to do with the original questions of humanity: what is the meaning of life… There are many answers people are looking for. We want these two months in Recoleta to connect with the evolving global community of people.”
The event officially kicked off on May 9th, but will run until the second week of July, so you still have plenty of time to get existential.
The astrologer Ludovica Squirru will give a talk that applies the world views of China, the Mayans, the Mapuche, and Assyrian Chaldeans to the Argentine Republic. Squirru is an expert in Chinese astrology and philosophy, and has written books of horoscopes. I have no idea how she’s going to pull all of these worldviews—or “cosmovisions,” if you prefer—together, but it should be fascinating to hear.
Spiritual Foundation of Argentina with China, Maya, Mapuche and Assyrian Chaldean cosmovisions | May 28 at 7 PM | Terrace | More info
A few weeks later, the Argentine philosopher Darío Sztajnszrajber will give a lecture titled “God, a deconstruction.” Sztajnszrajber is a modern philosopher who has written books on the purpose of philosophy, created an Emmy-nominated TV show that blends philosophy with fiction, and is also behind the popular Desencajados show, which combines philosophy and music. His talk will analyze how the world’s different visions of God came to be, while also questioning these visions.
God, a deconstruction | June 19 at 7 PM| Terrace | Free admission, limited capacity | More Info
In Hinduism and Buddhism, mandalas are intricate symbols that represent the universe. Join contemporary artist Vladimir Merchensky, who will guide you in creating your own mandala watercolor, while discussing the meaning of these fascinating, sacred symbols.
Watercolor Mandalas | June 8 at 3 PM | Drawing Room | More Info
Gaston Mendoza Pacheco’s mural on the cultural center’s terrace exemplifies Yo Creo’s intentions and has become a symbol for the event. The striking mural depicts adults and children who seem to be suspended in a zero-gravity bubble. They are surrounded by amulets, planets, stars, and telescopes. Pacheco said of his piece: “I wanted to capture all kinds of beliefs, different ways of seeing the world and explaining it: science, spirituality, astrology, superstition. The central idea of the mural is something organic, in which where we are all immersed and integrated.”
Venture into the cultural center to find Ave Mariano, an installation that is Catholic prayer, but with an Argentine twist. The artist Mariano Godoy has re-recorded the Ave Maria, (which famously celebrates the Virgin Mary) using a bandoneon. His rendition can be heard at the installation in the cultural center, which sits in the staircase space. The song emanates from a carillon, a musical instrument that is usually found in church bell towers, creating a holy, mystical feeling.
#YoCreo also includes two full-on fiestas, collectively titled La fe en los jueves, or Faith on Thursdays. On May 30th, “Polenta” (more on that name in a moment) will celebrate with live music by funk band La Fuerza Mayor, playlists from the ‘90s and 2000s and the work of Caña de Azúcar, a “team that makes visuals and transmits the astrological concept of Polenta,” hence the name of the party. I googled “Polenta,” “Polenta and astrology,” and even asked my editor if this was something that got lost in my crappy Spanish-English translation skills. We couldn’t figure it out. It might just be a party about astrology and boiled cornmeal, but IDK. Go and find out.
If you’re not willing to take your chances with Polenta, turn out for Yoga Rave on June 26th, an electronic dance party that began in Argentina, but has toured all over the world. Yoga Rave is a bit of a ridiculous name, but it actually fits the event quite well, which blends music, yoga and meditation. The event begins with yoga to warm up the body, then meditation to ready the mind, and finally music from the SO WHAT PROJECT!, a band that mixes positive affirmations with pop, techno, and rock. The party then caps with another meditation. This is one of those things you’ll need to experience in order to fully understand.
La fe en los jueves fiestas |Patio del Alijbe | May 30, June 26 at 7 PM | More Info
Yo Creo should get you thinking, moving, creating. Above all, this is supposed to be a time to reflect and take pleasure in our lovely, wonky universe, and all the different ways we choose to interpret it. Let’s get philosophizing!