A Glimpse at Center of the Margin offers an extract of the Spanish authored ethnography titled “Centro del Margen: Crónica de un día en un estudio de grabación clandestino de música rap en Buenos Aires” recently published in Studies in Latin American Popular Culture. The original ethnographic essay consists of thirteen diary-styled entries throughout a cycle of twenty four hours spent in the underground rap recording studio of Buenos Aires. Using a chronicle, I intercalate the experiences of fieldwork with the review of theoretical ideas about the lived experiences.
Ever since the economic collapse in 2001, Argentina and the capital city of Buenos Aires have been experiencing a resurgence in poverty that hasn’t been seen since the first wave of migrant urban workers in the 1930’s. In the southern region of Buenos Aires shanty towns are expanding and engulfing private and unused land. These shanty towns are known as “villas miserias,” which directly translates into villages of misery, and share characteristics of slums all around the world.
In Argentina, and elsewhere in Latin America, members of the middle and upper-middle classes tend to be the main spokespersons in public debates around the issue of citizens’ public safety (seguridad). Public discourse about urban violence tends to be dominated by those occupying privileged positions in the social structure – they are the ones who talk most about the issue because, presumably, they are the ones most affected by it.
The production, circulation and consumption of printed texts drew the contours of the political culture of socialism in times of the Second International.1 With the advent of mass politics, processes of institutionalization and nationalization of the Socialist Movement were facilitated by the growing presence of printed matter in the daily lives of an increasing number of people, linked to increased literacy rates and unprecedented expansion of journalism and publishing.
Football clubs, a sense of neighborhood identity and politics have been linked together in Buenos Aires since the true popularization of the sport of soccer. This happened because a number of changes occurred in the Buenos Aires at roughly the same time.