GELER Lea Natalia
congresos y reuniones científicas
A City for Those Who Deserve It: The Social Housing Projects and the Afro-Argentines of Buenos Aires during the Twentieth Century
Congreso; LASA2019 Congreso Internacional de la Latin American Studies Association; 2019
Latin American Studies Association
Most people think of Buenos Aires as a White-European city, according to different official accounts that stated that its population descended entirely from the European immigrants who arrived to the country in the late 19th century and in the beginning of the 20th. To build this kind of representation, the state directly intervened in the city's architecture through urban planning, opening European-like avenues and plazas or demolishing houses, buildings or entire neighborhoods. Those urban designs affected directly the poorer part of the population, which challenged the representation of whiteness as it showed that local population had also non-European backgrounds and that mestizaje had played a major part in forming the social structure of the country. A great part of the Afro Argentine population leaving in Buenos Aires can be included in this group. These people were repeatedly forced to leave their living places and relocated in the margins of the city or in the Greater Buenos Aires area, outside the city limits. These moves helped accomplishing the myth that the Afro Argentines had disappeared. Through interviews and oral history, in this paper I will address the housing trajectories of two Afro Argentines families who are today suffering the consequences of those urban and social projects.