10174 - From the Andes to Argentina: Creating Transregional Community in Buenos Aires

Argentina has long been known as a nation of immigrants. Over the last twenty years, however, a larger share of immigrants to that nation have come not from Europe but from nearby Latin American countries, in which political instability and economic problems have caused increasing numbers of people to leave their physical communities and cross national borders. This paper considers transregional movement—from the Andean region to the Southern Cone—by focusing on those who have migrated from Bolivia and Peru to Buenos Aires , Argentina ’s largest urban area. Whether moving into existing marginal neighborhoods or creating new settlements, immigrants in this, most recent wave seek meaningful ways to integrate into this fast-changing metropolis. In exploring the importance of community among Andean migrants, this paper addresses creative elements of culture that both facilitate their placement in the new nation and, increasingly, render them vulnerable to anti-foreign actions. In this paper, I show how ephemeral and impermanent components, such as expressive culture, often play crucial roles in creating a sense of community—sometimes transcending the economic and financial practicalities that are more typically the subject of research. In exploring the importance of artistic production, I address visual and verbal narratives of the migrant journey.

Keywords: migration, Argentina, Andes, expressive culture, narrative

Author: Femenias, Blenda (American University, Ud States of Am / USA)


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