Afro Culture in a Eurocentric city
Despite constantly being told that there is no black community in Buenos Aires, I continued to search for a black presence in the city and found it. Many believe that the city is populated only with european immigrants, however this is not so. Not only was Argentina a slave country, but after what many believe to be the “disappearance” of all blacks in Argentina, due to several causes such as high mortality rates in wars, the black community continues to exist.
There is an afro cultural center in the neighborhood of San Telmo. During my research on the afro-argentine community I discovered that this barrio held one of the various slave markets in Buenos Aires and was there after a neighborhood in which slaves and later free blacks lived. The afro cultural center here, Movimiento Afrocultural holds events throughout the year, including performances of singing, dancing and more every Sunday during the same time as the San Telmo feria.
During one of my visits to this center I sat in on a discussion of “candombe as a form of resistance”. Candombe, a dance of african origin that africans brought with them to Uruguay and Argentina when they were stolen from their land and forced to South America as slaves, is a very vibrant and lively part of afro-uruguayan and afro-argentine culture that still thrives today.
Along with the afro cultural center there are several other groups and organizations that put on discussions, events, plays and more to bring awareness to the issues of the black community here as well as to celebrate black culture.