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3 posts from December 2012

12/18/2012

Internships in the National Congress - Part II: The closing meeting

With the closing of my experience here in Buenos Aires, I am happy that I had the opportunity to work with the Argentine Senate with respect to the reform of the civil law. Learning another language is so difficult because it isn't a monolithic process. The truth is that the language I hear in the street is different than what I hear in the classroom which is different than this legal language I encountered in my work with the Senate. We don't realize how much time it took us in our own language to learn these various "languages" and these different texts.

For that reason I enjoyed my experience working with the Senate. It offered me a different opportunity to expand another vocabulary and another "language."

At the same time that I was learning that "language," more legal and more formal, I was working with a topic that really interested me, the reform of the civil code. CIEE gave me the opportunity to learn outside of my courses. I think that is one of the most important things about my experience in Buenos Aires. CIEE, as an exchange program, should be trying to provide learning opportunities outside of the classroom, and they gave me exactly that.

Michael Migiel-Schwartz - Wesleyan University


Working with Senator Filmus´s team this semester was rewarding in a number of ways. Participating firsthand in Argentine policymaking was invaluable to me as a Politics major. Not only did my weekly tasks enrich my knowledge of the Argentine and French Civil code, they also complemented my homework and helped me improve my research and writing in Spanish. Comparing my findings with the other interns was also interesting; I never knew that the differences between Australia, Canada, and France would be so stark. It was at times difficult to translate laws and articles from French and Spanish, and it was also a challenge to suggest policies for Argentina based on the French civil code, considering the social contexts are very different. I felt very supported by both Diego Filmus and Juan Tollo throughout the semester, which made the experience all the more enjoyable.

Rita Kerbaj – Mount Holyoke College

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Visit to Teatro Colón

The Teatro Colón is the most traditional opera house in Buenos Aires, and it is also a

venue for those who love lyrical arts, classical music, and ballet from all over the world. It is considered to be amongst the five best opera houses in the world due to its superb acoustics and the architectural value of the building.

We visited this opera house as part of the out-of-class activities developed at the “Advanced Spanish I: Oral Performance Workshop”. The objective was to get to know this part of the cultural heritage of our city more deeply.

Below, you will find the student productions with their testimonies. (Spanish only)

 

Professors Guadalupe Molina and Valeria Scutiero - Spanish Department

 

If you want to know more about the history of this theatre, the recent remodeling, and the reopening in 2010, we invite you to view this poster.                                                         

 

If you were delighted with the idea of this visit, we invite you to go through the opera house through these presentations.

 

 

Finally, we would like to share the outcomes of this site visit through this video.

 

 

 

 

French Influence in Argentinean culture

Palacio Paz and Parque de la memoria are two faces of the same coin. The first one show us across its architectonic beauty, the rich and oligarchic Argentine in the end of nineteen century and early twenties. The second, the wound, still open, of a tragic past linked to state terrorism.   

Prof. Francisco Corigliano -  Cultural Issues in Argentine History class

It was very interesting to visit Palacio Paz and el Parque de la Memoria. They are very different places, and the opportunity to visit both in the same day was fantastic, because there was a huge contrast between the two that I initially didn’t realize.

El Parque de la Memoria left a great impression on me. Before our trip, I didn’t know what to expect. When we entered the park, I was immediately affected by the location; it’s perfect. With the river in the background and the empty space that exists in the park there is a peaceful feeling along with a feeling of disquiet. The use of space was employed very effectively for obvious reasons. The idea to chose art as the medium to remember and represent what happened is fundamental. Because of this, every person can create his or her own experience and feeling. When we went to the park, it was a beautiful day. I think if the weather had been bad, the park would have been haunting.

Similarly, El Palacio Paz left a great impression on me, but for different reasons. A building like el Palacio Paz is not very common in Argentina. I loved the woodwork and how the house was built to throw parties, dance, and to pass the time with friends.

El Parque and el Palacio Paz are very different places, built by very different people. To me, El Parque screams “Argentina!” in contrast to Palacio Paz, which has taken the majority of its elements from Europe and other parts of the world. In spite of its grand splendor and beauty, el Palacio Paz felt like an imposter. Still, it was very interesting to see the lifestyle of the beaurocrats in Argentina. Both have a French influence, one in the negative sense (el Parque) and one in the positive sense (el Palacio) I identified with the negative French influence much more, and felt a little uncomfortable. I wonder if Argentines experience the same feeling. 

Kate Applegate - Tufts University

 

I was really glad that I was able to see the Palacio Paz during my stay in Buenos Aires. I remember that, during my first week here in Buenos Aires, we took a guided tour of Plaza San Martín. The guide had mentioned Palacio Paz, explaining how it was a remnant of Argentina´s golden age. So I took a picture of it, but it really was enough to capture how incredible it was inside. I had no idea how humungous and luxurious it would be inside. It truly surprised me. Yes, I knew it had the word palace in its name and that is was super fancy, etc., but it really is something you have to see with your own eyes to believe. Incredible. Palacio Paz definitely shows the grandiose lifestyle of that era, and it´s also an excellent example of the French influence present in Argentina. I was lucky to have the opportunity to go to France three years ago, and so I was able to pick up on a lot of the French influence in Palacio Paz. Especially the ballroom, since it reminded me of the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles. What also surprised me was how many rooms there were which, from my own point of view, seemed to have little purpose. I think my middle class lifestyle can´t allow me to conceptualize living that way. This visit was a great way to better understand this era in Argentina history.

I also enjoyed the visit to the Parque de la Memoria. What always impresses me about the Argentine people is the way in which they address the atrocities that occurred during the dictatorship in the 70´s. They try to maintain the memory of the life of those who disappeared, to remember them as people, who felt, who loved, who lived. While they aren´t completely comparable, the visit made me think about when I went to the Auschwitz–Birkenau concentration camp in Poland this past summer. When I went there, I felt overwhelmed, so much so that at one point I felt like I couldn´t breathe. And it was because of the way in which they addressed the tragedy. I´m obviously not going to criticize it, since I think it´s probably the only way you can address the Holocaust. But, because of this, I was so moved by the focus on memory here in Argentina, not in torture or the actual atrocities committed. It´s one of the things I will certainly remember about this country. 

Juli Pasquale - Indiana University

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Professor Corigliano singing opera in Palacio Paz during the tour