Explore Buenos Aires through creative eyes
It’s safe to say that Buenos Aires is now well and truly on the map of international tourist destinations. The city has seen an interesting tourism evolution over the past few years, from the early arrival of the hesitant backpackers testing the waters in the days following the economic crisis, to the bargain seekers of the mid 00s through to the international business travellers and luxury tourists you find cruising the streets of Palermo, staying at the likes of Faena and the Sheraton today. With the evolution of the tourist, has come an evolution of Buenos Aires’ offering to tourists. From independent tour guides to the Big Yellow Bus, Citroen 2CVs offering views of BA from the backseat of a vintage car, to more recently, a running tour where you get to see Buenos Aires whilst burning off a few hundred calories en route.
Most recently however, a number of tours that focus on Buenos Aires’ vibrant and ever evolving art scene have sprung up. One of the pioneers being Graffitimundo, a company that makes Buenos Aires unique street art theme accesible to visitors through daily tours around Palermo and Villa Crespo. Another being Juanele an art collective who offer Art Walks around the city
However an even newer kid on the block is Foto Ruta, recently set up by two photographer expats, Foto Ruta claims to offer participants a new perspective on the city, ‘it’s not a tour in it’s traditional form, we don’t drag big groups along the usual tourist trail, it’s a participatory activity that helps tourists, expats and locals experience parts of the city that are a little off the tourist trail, whilst learning a bit about photography.’
The idea goes something like this, each Wednesday and Saturday, Foto Ruta is held in a different barrio / neighborhood. Participants turn up to the elected meeting place (one of Foto Ruta’s favorite local cafes) and receive a briefing on the neighborhood, followed by a crash course in street photography, hosted by professional photographer Joss Mandryk. ‘This part of the day is designed to get their creative juices flowing and begin thinking like a photographer for the afternoon’. Then, in small teams, everyone sets off for an afternoon of exploration using their cameras to capture a series of clues.
At the end of the day everyone catches up over a free glass of wine to compare results, and so far, the results have been impressive. ‘People who didn’t think they had a creative bone in their body, are coming back with some great shots, interpreting the clues in their own unique way’. The results are put up on Foto Ruta’s website and Facebook page every week.
Foto Ruta, Graffiti Mundo and the many art tours that are springing up around the city are tours that are a bit out of the ordinary, perhaps because Buenos Aires is a city that’s a bit out of the ordinary. Lacking in famous sights and must do´s that other destinations pride themselves on, it’s a city that demands an alternative approach to match it’s alternative personality.
Foto Ruta costs $100 pesos and takes place in a different barrio every week. To find out more and book email firstname.lastname@example.org
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