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Argentina: getting pumped up prepped and inspired before our trip.

By Verónica Lampón, author of the blog Vamos a pasear?
Special collaboration for Violeta Deyapa

Are you counting the days before you get to Argentina?
Looking for inspiration for your trip?

Here's a list of books to read, movies to watch and music to listen to. Something to get yourself in the mood and start dreaming about the country of soccer and wine and learn a lot more about it.

Books:

"In Patagonia": A classic by Bruce Chatwin for those planning on visiting Patagonia. A classic of British literature about two Englishmen's trip to the uninhabited territories over a hundred years ago. Great inspiration before you get here.

"Laberintos" (Labyrinths) by Jorge Luis Borges, the Argentine author who took the country's literature to its maximum heights. An expert not only of science fiction but suspense and poetry as well. Borges left a permanent impression on Argentina's literature. This is one of his classics.

"Las venas abiertas de America Latina" (The open veins of Latin America) A shocking view on the history of Latin America by Eduardo Galeano, the Uruguayan writer who has written some the most harrowing accounts of Latin America's history. This book is a must for those who wish to know the history of the strife of this continent.

"Evita, la verdadera historia de Eva Peron" (Evita, the true story of Eva Perón), Nicolas Fraser's account of this central character of the Argentine narrative. It's been said many times: in order to understand Argentinians, you must know about soccer, beef, Eva and Perón.

Movies :

"La Historia Oficial" (The Official Story"). This Oscar-award winning film set in the dark days of the military dictatorship tells the story of a school teacher who suspects her husband is involved with the government and it is a perfect way to understand one of the most painful times in the country's recent history.

"Luna de Avellaneda" ("Avellaneda Moon"). A good film to understand the Argentine people and its passion for soccer. It portrays life of the sinking middle classes in the outskirts of the big city.Witty and with a humorous slant, it's a real gem of the Argentine idiosyncrasies.

"Esperando la Carroza" ("Waiting for the Carriage"). According to many, this is the most Argentine movie ever made. A wacky comedy about an 80 year old lady and her family. There is both drama and laughter: when you're not sure whether you should laugh or cry, then you got yourself a good Argentine comedy.

"Mi mejor Enemigo" ("My best Enemy"). A Chilean-Argentinian-Spanish film about one of many conflicts between Argentina and Chile on their shared and very long borderline. It's a good way to understand the cultural and historical differences between these two Latin American siblings.

"La Patagonia Rebelde" (The Rebellious Patagonia"). A painful account of one of the most important rural- workers' protests in the Patagonia region. A must-watch movie for a better understanding of the social differences that existed in Argentina at a time when it was ranked as one of the richest countries in the world.

Music :

Mercedes Sosa en Argentina by Mercedes Sosa. One of the most exciting records by one of Argentina's most representative singers. Recorded live in one of her first shows upon returning from her exile after the military regime came to an end in the early 80s. A moving performance and some of the best Argentine folklore music.

Lo Mejor de lo Mejor by Carlos Gardel. Carlos Gardel divided Argentina's history of music in two. There is a before and after when it comes to listening to his voice. Even though he was killed in a plane crash in 1935, his fans claim that his singing gets better every day.

Clics Modernos by Charly Garcia. Another giant in the Argentine rock pantheon. Always controversial, victim of mental and emotional instability he remains the true father of argentine rock 'n' roll. He was among the first to write rock songs in Spanish.

Cancion Animal by Soda Stereo. Soda Stereo is the Argentine band that took "rock in español" to a new level. A true icon for those over 30, they are still all over the place in every radio station where Argentine music is played.

Lo Mejor del Amor (The Best of love) by Rodrigo. You may like cumbia music or not. Another great divide among Argentinians. But this is the emblematic music of the working class "barrios" in the great sprawls of the Buenos Aires metropolitan areas. It is the property of a social class where Rodrigo is king. He died young at the height of his career and he made cumbia and cuarteto safe for the middle and upper classes.


 

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