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This Way Up: Reimagining Argentina’s Shattered Economy From Below

category international | anti-capitalism | other press author Friday August 08, 2008 19:02author by James R Report this post to the editors

An article on Argentina's assembly movement several years on from the perspective of someone there as a tourist of the pickets, published in Totally Dublin this month and available online at http://soundtracksforthem.com/blog/?cat=204

Just recently Buenos Aires became a mass partying destination for Americans, all intent on a retail respite from the gringo trail that runs down the spine of the continent. It lends itself well to most of the disconnected vignettes that pass for travel writing. You give some harried mentions of local poverty, and assurances of stabilisation, then you roll into dishing advice on where to join the local urbane consumer class as it gets mashed to drum and bass. Or if you really know your shit: to the strange combinations of electronica and cumbia that haunt the ears of music bloggers.

For many young portenos, foreign language capabilities and youth ful exuberance allow unemployment to be by-passed through hostel work or language teaching. There’s a curious shadow tourism too. Politically active locals call it a ‘tourism of the pickets.’ It describes those that arrive curious to see if the political movement that started in 2001 left anything behind apart from bank buildings scarred with graffiti from attacks by customers that lost their life savings.


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